Rip currents and strong waves expected this week

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SAN DIEGO — High tides are expected to combine to push strong rip currents and cause minor tidal overflow along parts of the San Diego County coastline Sunday night through Tuesday, forecasters said.

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Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

National Weather Service meteorologists issued a beach hazards statement Sunday for the county’s west-facing beaches.

Astronomical high tides of around 7 feet, combined with 3-5 foot surf, will roll in. Some sets may top 6 feet on Monday, the forecast said.

The combination may cause tidal overflow in low-lying coastal areas such as beach parking lots, along with strong rip currents that could pose a danger to swimmers, according to the National Weather Service.

Meteorologists said strong rip currents were likely, especially midday Monday when the high tide transitions to a low tide.

“A beach hazards statement for rip currents means that conditions are present to support a heightened risk of strong rip currents,” the NWS statement said. “Rip currents are typically more frequent and stronger in the vicinity of jetties, inlets and piers.”

Swimmers caught in a rip current should swim parallel to the coast to get out of the current before trying to head for shore, forecasters said.

Meteorologists advised swimmers to stay near a lifeguard, and beachgoers should use caution when in or near the water, according to the NWS.

Locations susceptible to minor flooding include The Strand along Oceanside Beach and Imperial Beach, according to the weather service. Coastal officials were advised to take the necessary precautions to safeguard beaches.

The tides are expected to lower by late Tuesday morning, as will the west-northwest swell.