LOS ANGELES (CNS) - High surf and dangerous rip currents will plague the Southland coast from today through Thursday, the National Weather Service said.
Also expected is patchy drizzle in L.A. County this morning while in Orange County, there will be a 20 percent chance of showers.
Along the coast, a beach hazards statement, which is marginally less serious that a high surf advisory, went into effect at 6 a.m. in both L.A. and Orange counties. The statement is due to expire Thursday evening in L.A. County and Thursday afternoon in Orange County.
Forecasters blamed coastline conditions on elevated surf of 3-6 feet resulting from a long-period southerly swell. For Orange County, forecasters expected surf of 4-6 feet, with sets of up to 7 feet.
``There is an increased risk for ocean drowning,'' waned an NWS statement. ``Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can wash people off beaches and rocks and capsize small boats near shore.''
The statement added: ``A beach hazards statement is issued when threats such as rip currents, longshore currents. sneaker waves and other hazards create life-threatening conditions in the surf zone. Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don't swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.''
The NWS forecast mostly cloudy skies in L.A. County today and highs of 60 degrees on Mount Wilson; 63 in Avalon; 65 at LAX; 68 in Downtown L.A., Long Beach, Pasadena and Burbank; 69 in San Gabriel and Saugus; 70 in Woodland Hills; 77 in Palmdale; and 78 in Lancaster.
Mostly cloudy skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 65 in San Clemente; 66 in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach; 67 in Mission Viejo; 68 in Anaheim and Irvine; and 69 in Mission Viejo and Yorba Linda.
Temperatures will remain about the same through Thursday, then begin ramping up slowly Friday. By Monday, highs will be 11 degrees higher than today in downtown L.A., 15 degrees higher in Woodland Hills, and 14 degrees higher in Yorba Linda.
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