High surf advisories were issued by the National Weather Service for Southern California beaches today, along with warnings to sightseers, surfers and fishermen to stay back from the water.
"Our biggest concern is for early Monday morning, when we'll have a high tide of about six feet with waves on top of that of maybe six feet, and occasional sets of eight to 10 feet," said meteorologist Michael Lewis of the National Weather Service.
"Right now, that doesn't look as though it'll be high enough to cause any real damage. But we're advising people to stay away. Last year we had seven deaths attributed to high surf in the Los Angeles area, three surfers and four people who were swept off jetties or piers."
Lifeguards said they did not expect to have to close any Los Angeles or Orange County-area piers, however. Lt. Dick Heineman of the Los Angeles County Lifeguards in Santa Monica, said it would take surf of about 10 to 12 feet on a tide of six to eight feet to close the Santa Monica Pier.
South-Facing Beaches Safe
South-facing beaches, such as Malibu, where beachfront homes are vulnerable to high surf, are not expected to be damaged because the storm system propelling the high surf is based in the Gulf of Alaska, the lifeguards said.
The high surf warning was expected to pass quickly as the trailing edge of a cold front that was predicted to bring scattered showers to the Los Angeles Basin Sunday night moves eastward today. Forecasters said about a quarter inch of rain could fall in coastal areas with up to an inch expected in the mountains, where the snow level will be above 8,000 feet.
"The weather should be improving by the end of the week and gradually warming slightly," said Dan Bowman, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times. "But we may still get some unstable weather, because there's so much energy in this storm in the Gulf of Alaska."
Although Southern California has been minimally affected by the storm, Northern California and Oregon have been much harder hit, the National Weather Service said.
A foot of snow was expected by this morning in some parts of the Sierra Nevada.
60-M.P.H. Winds in N. California
Winds in some Northern California coastal areas were reported to have reached 60 m.p.h. and caused some isolated power outages.
Wind warnings were issued for the San Gabriel Mountains early today, and for the Owens Valley, which was expecting gusts up to 60 m.p.h., the Weather Service reported.
The high in downtown Los Angeles Sunday reached 66 degrees after an overnight low of 52, the Weather Service said. Relative humidity ranged from 56%to 100%.
The Los Angeles Civic Center high should reach 64 today, forecasters said.