High surf expected as weekend storm heads toward San Diego

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SAN DIEGO -- A large west-northwest swell is expected to build rapidly Friday morning and bring high surf to the beaches of San Diego County, which will persist into the weekend as a strong storm heads toward San Diego.

A National Weather Service high surf advisory will be in force until 10 p.m. Saturday. Waves of 6 to 10 feet and sets to 12 feet are expected south of Encinitas, and 4- to 7- foot surf expected elsewhere.

Strong rip currents are also likely throughout the advisory period, and minor beach erosion will be possible during the highest tides. The waves may also be high enough to top jetties and sea walls.

Forecasters said the west-northwest long period swell would continue to build this morning before peaking Friday afternoon and night. It's expected to subside Saturday, but a strong Pacific storm will likely lead to choppy high surf late Sunday into Monday morning.

Rain, mountain snow and gusty wind are also expected during the storm, which is expected to hit San Diego Saturday night, forecasters said. The strongest rain is expected Sunday. From 0.5 to 1 inches of rain are expected to fall on coastal areas and up to 3 inches could fall in some mountain areas, forecasters said. Snow is expected at elevations above 5,000 feet.