West Coast Power Outages, Battering Surf

By , AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist
December 1, 2012; 12:20 PM ET
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A siege from the Pacific will continue as rounds of strong winds and rough seas batter the West Coast into next week.

High Winds, Power Outages

Rounds of strong wind gusts will accompany each storm and hammer coastal areas from northern California to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

The strong winds, can down trees and cause sporadic power outages.

According Expert Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, "Localized gusts can reach between 60 and 80 mph along the slopes and over the ridges of the Coast Ranges and Cascades and in the gaps between some of the mountains due to local effects."

One round of high winds hit the region Thursday into Friday. Another round is forecast late Saturday into Sunday.

Gusts over the ridges in the northern Sierra Nevada will range between 50 and 70 mph. The wind combined with snow, blizzard conditions would be an understatement. A "snowicane" may be more like it.

Those traveling along Highway 101 and portions of I-5 in the Northwest should stay alert for sudden crosswinds due to the local effects throughout the series of storms.

Heavy Seas, Surf's Up

The series of storms will generate rough seas into next week.

Offshore, waves of 20 to 25 feet will occur.

Due to the wind direction, the worst of the near-coast wave action, beach erosion and damaging surf will be in south-facing areas from Monterey Bay, Calif., to Vancouver Island, B.C. will continue through Tuesday.

However, even farther south along the coast of Southern California, heavy surf will occur through this weekend. Over Southern California, the west-facing beaches can be hit with waves of 10 to 15 feet. However, a few waves can be higher.

Powerful waves can cause injury and rip currents will be strong and frequent.

Because of the persistent wave action, minor coastal flooding at times of high tide can occur throughout the West Coast. Tides are astronomically higher up to a couple of days passed the full moon. The full moon was on Nov. 28.

It may not be until the middle of next week until the storms and seas settle down.


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