Deadly sneaker wave warning issued for Northern California beaches – CBS San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A storm front drifting from southern Oregon to northern California churned the Pacific Monday, triggering deadly sneaker waves and strong rip tides along bay beaches and bringing with it a chance of showers in the drought-stricken region. .
Forecasters said light showers would start in North Bay late Monday-early Tuesday morning. Amounts will vary from 0.25 to 0.50 inch in North Bay, 0.10 to 0.20 inch for SF and one tenth or less of the peninsula to the south.
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While showers will be a welcome relief, turbulent waters will present the biggest threat. The National Weather Service issued a dangerous beach warning for the area from coastal Sonoma County to coastal Monterey County from 7 p.m. Monday to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“A very long to long period west-northwesterly swell will develop from coastal Sonoma County to coastal Monterey County on Monday evening
and overnight bringing a high risk of sneaker waves and strong rip currents,” the weather service said. “Swell periods are gradually easing Tuesday morning and afternoon, but the risk of strong rip currents and sneaker waves will continue through the day. ”
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Sneaker waves are so dangerous because “the ocean can seem deceptively calm with long lulls between sets of larger waves.” And then the wave hits seemingly out of nowhere and the swimmer is thrown into the rushing waters.
“(The calm conditions) can cause individuals to venture onto exposed coastal features where infrequent but powerful waves can overwhelm them, knocking them into the cold, choppy ocean where the possibility of hypothermia or drowning is serious. “said the weather service. “If you’re visiting the coast this weekend, respect the power of the ocean, stay alert to your surroundings, and avoid venturing onto exposed coastal features where sudden, powerful waves can endanger your life.”
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Eight people lost their lives last year when rip currents blew them away from shore, including 12-year-old Arunay Pruthi from Fremont. He had jumped to try to help his father and his little brother. In places like Ocean Beach, the signs are there for a reason.