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Marie Weakens, Dangerous Waves Continue to Impact Southern California

By By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
September 01, 2014, 6:49:53 AM EDT

After rapidly intensifying to a Category 5 hurricane on Sunday, Marie has weakened to a tropical storm, and continues to pose dangerous and potentially life-threatening conditions from the Baja on north through Southern California.

Hurricane Marie, which rapidly intensified into a Category 5 hurricane on Sunday and became the strongest hurricane over the eastern Pacific since Hurricane Celia in 2010, will gradually weaken through the remainder of the week.

Despite that, its indirect impacts on Mexico and the United States will be significant. As the hurricane weakens over cooler waters, large waves already produced during the past few days will continue to move outward from its center and toward the coasts of Mexico and California.


Hurricane Marie will cause very rough and dangerous surf to spread northward along the beaches of Mexico and Southern California this week.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 26, the Los Angeles Times reported one surfer was found unconscious in the swells and was later pronounced dead after unsuccessful attempts to revive him.

Los Angeles County lifeguards pulled him from the waters and performed CPR to no avail. Officials closed the pier Tuesday evening as intense waves caused damage to the pier's pilings, according to the LA times.

On Wednesday, August 27, four Newport Beach lifeguards had to be rescued after attempting to rescue a swimmer in distress among waves up to 25 feet, KTLA-TV in Los Angeles reported.

While the impact on the surf from Lowell and Karina diminished over Southern California by Monday, a new series of swells will build into Thursday over the region.


"The large circulation from Marie will be generating increasingly higher waves and significant, potentially deadly, rip currents Tuesday into Tuesday night and remaining high into Thursday," Western Weather Expert Ken Clark said.

The high surf advisory remains through 6 p.m. Friday, Clark said. The threat will peak Wednesday into Wednesday night, before slowly diminishing on Thursday and Friday.

Many breakers will be in the 10- to 15-foot range. However, a few waves can reach 25 feet and will pose serious risk to boarders, beach dwellers and fisherman.

"Venturing out onto the jetties can be quite dangerous as well, with waves breaking over some of the jetties potentially washing people into the sea and crashing them into the sharp, jagged rocks," Clark said.

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The circulation around Marie will draw moisture into part of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico.
"Marie is a very large hurricane, and as its moisture gets drawn to the northeast into the region, very heavy rainfall is possible, along with localized flooding," said Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani.

Sagliani continued by saying, "Some of the most likely cities to see locally heavy rainfall include La Paz, Cabo San Lucas and Hermosillo in Mexico, and Phoenix, Tucson and Albuquerque in the southwestern United States."

Despite the heavy rain for the interior Southwest, very little rain will fall on California, where exceptional drought and wildfires continue. Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski contributed content to this article.

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