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Big Waves And High Rip Current Risk At L.A. Beaches This Weekend

Surfer at Manhattan Beach. (Photo by David Carstens via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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A hurricane off the Baja California Coast is expected to bring serious waves and dangerous rip currents to Southern California beaches starting Friday. The National Weather Service has issued a beach hazards alert, which will be in place from 10 a.m. on Friday until 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

The rough surf is being generated by Hurricane Hilary, a Category 1 storm, and the not-quite-yet-a-hurricane Irwin, which will be "each spinning around like a meteorological fidget spinner," as USA Today put it. "What she's been doing down there south of us is generating winds and waves, and these waves are expected to start approaching us tomorrow," Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service, told LAist of Hurricane Hilary.

According to Seto, waves are currently at about two to four feet, but will increase slightly to three to five feet by Friday, and then build up to four to six feet into the weekend. "We'll probably see waves as high as 10 feet on the south-facing beaches and seven to 10 feet on the southwest-facing beaches," Seto said. Notable south-facing beaches in the area include Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro and Zuma Beach in Malibu.

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There will also be a high rip current risk as the waves get larger. "It looks like the worst time will be at the high tide times, around 2:30 p.m.," Seto said.

Meanwhile, weather at the beaches will likely be balmy, with daytime highs nearing 80 degrees. Things will be considerably hotter inland, with temperatures in the lower 90s in the valleys.

Related: How To Not Get Caught In A Rip Current At The Beach