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Lightning, strong rip currents possible along coast this weekend

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SAN DIEGO - Elevated surf, strong rip currents and lightning could be possible along the San Diego County coastline this weekend as Hurricane Dolores moves offshore from Baja California.

A National Weather Service beach hazards statement was scheduled to take effect Friday night and extend until Sunday night. Meteorologists said large southerly swells generated by the storm could reach local beaches as soon as Saturday evening.

``Hurricane Dolores will track northwest well offshore from the Baja Peninsula this weekend,'' according to the weather service. ``Dolores will bring a large south swell to the beaches, along with enhanced moisture levels which could help generate thunderstorms.''

Swells of up to 7 feet could be possible along south-facing beaches. Isolated thunderstorms with cloud-to-ground lightning and heavy downpours are also expected this weekend along the coast, along with gusty wind. Forecasters said there would be a 20 percent chance of measurable precipitation in coastal areas on Saturday.

Beachgoers were advised to abide by posted warning signs, talk to a lifeguard before swimming, use caution in or near the water and keep in mind thunderstorms could be possible.