Mavericks Decision Made

By Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Jan 11, 2010  |  Updated 4:30 PM PDT
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Mavericks Decision Made

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Thanks to a powerful system that started in the Gulf of Alaska, we were back on the Mavericks watch today, but in the end the surfers opted to wait it out for better weather.

A majority of the 24 registered contestants voted not to hold the contest this week and for the first time in the contest's history it is the surfers who decide when they will ride waves off Half Moon Bay.

The waves will be big enough for sure.  But the storm that is bringing them in is also bringing  heavy rain which spoils part of the run.

The National Weather Service says waves up to 20 feet could hit the coast starting Tuesday night.   A high surf advisory is expected to last from 10 p.m. Tuesday until 4 a.m. Thursday.

The window for the contest extends through the end of March, but wind conditions tend to become less favorable as we get closer to spring.

While the waves are good for surfers, they are potentially dangerous for those who like to watch them, because along with the powerful waves comes a strong rip current in the surf zone.

Beach goers are advised to use caution and watch out for sneaker waves in addition to strong currents and localized beach erosion.
     
All coastal counties in the Bay Area are under the advisory.

The winter weather system is also expected to bring rain and gusty winds  to the Bay Area beginning after midnight Monday, National Weather Service  forecaster Diana Henderson said.
     
The system is expected to bring about one-half to three quarters  of an inch of rain to the region, along with wind gusts of about 20 to 25  mph, Henderson said.
     
More showers are expected Thursday as part of the same system,  followed dry weather at the end of the week.

More rain is predicted for the weekend and a larger weather system  is expected to hit the Bay Area next week, Henderson said.

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