Big Waves Big Draw to Coast

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010  |  Updated 11:38 AM PDT
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High waves hit the coast of California.

High waves hit the coast of California.

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Most of the rain is gone, but the high surf remains and that has crowds of people flocking to the coast to see Mother Nature at work.

Swells could reach 20 feet in some spots. A coastal flood warning has expired, but the waves are big enough to keep the Pacific pier close Wednesday morning.  That is not keeping folks from coming to the pier to see the waves crash ashore.

The NBC Bay Area photographer Rob Hughes got a taste of the high surf before sunrise as his camera came in direct contact with the waves.

High tide hit Wednesday at 8:58 a.m.  The next hits will be the highest at 11:16 p.m.

Skiers hitting the slopes of the Sierra picked a good week. They are under a winter storm warning Wednesday.  Resorts above 6,000 feet should measure the new snow by the feet by the end of the week.

The waves would have been big enough for the Mavericks surf contest Wednesday, but riders opted to wait out for better weather conditions.  The contest window 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 should use caution and watch out for sneaker waves in addition to strong currents and localized erosion.
   
More rain is forecast for the weekend and a larger weather system is expected to hit the Bay Area next week.

Here are some rain totals from this week:

  • Sonoma 1.43"
  • Kentfiend 1.49"
  • San Francisco .46"
  • San Jose .44"
  • Oakland .38"
  • Almaden Valley .55"

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