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Dangerous surf from John to affect Southern California beaches into this weekend

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
August 10, 2018, 12:52:04 PM EDT

As thousands escape to the beach to catch a break from the heat, surf will build to dangerous levels along the Southern California coast into this weekend.

Although the heat peaked during the middle of the week over Southern California as temperatures topped 100 F in interior regions, temperatures will still remain high enough this weekend to send people to the beach where rough surf could pose a problem.

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John, the tropical system responsible for the rough surf, is weakening and forecast to move away from the coast of Mexico over the next few days.

While John will not reach California waters, swells already generated by the distant storm will propagate northward and reach the beaches of Southern California in the form of large waves.

Static Rough SoCal Surf 3 pm

What will be a boon for experienced surfers may be dangerous for bathers and novice boaters.

Along with the risk of pounding waves that can cause bodily injury will be an uptick in rip currents.

Rip currents are always present. However, during situations such as this, rip currents will be more frequent, greater in number and stronger in nature.

Waves will peak around 4-8 feet and locally higher along the coast of Southern California into Saturday, before diminishing later this weekend into early next week.

Static AP California Waves

A wave crashes on a rock at the end of a jetty in Malibu, Calif., on Sunday, June 26, 2016. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

Minor coastal flooding may also occur due to overwash from the bigger waves and the high astronomical tide cycle to end the week.

Onlookers should use caution when standing on breakwaters and jetties where waves can crash over.

The large waves will be a hazard for small craft as well.

Boaters may find less rough conditions along the immediate northern shores of the Channel Islands and Santa Catalina Island.

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