High surf advisories mean great waves for surfers in Newport Beach

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While other areas of California experienced flooding and facing evacuations Thursday due to high surf conditions up and down the coast, Orange County surfers took advantage of large swells.

Surfers were out in the waters near Newport Pier on Thursday morning, where waves were expected to reach heights of 6 to 12 feet at the peak of the swells. Those may be considerably smaller than the 50- to 60-foot waves seen the same day at the Northern California surf break known as Mavericks, but they are nonetheless dangerous, according to the National Weather Service office in San Diego.

Hundreds of surfers take advantage of swells that are well over 6 feet.

Hundreds of surfers take advantage of swells that are well over 6 feet on Thursday near Newport Pier.

(James Carbone)

Meteorologists issued a high surf advisory for Orange County that went into effect Thursday and is expected to continue through 2 a.m. Monday. They said this recent winter wave event is due to a set of storms in the northern Pacific that are causing waves to come to the local coastline from the west as opposed to the northwest, where wave sets are buffeted by Point Conception in Santa Barbara County.

While San Diego County is expected to experience the full force of the incoming waves, Orange County will not be hit as significantly because of the orientation of its shoreline, meteorologists said. However, the National Weather Service reported on X, formerly known as Twitter, that reports had been made of waves reaching nearly 11 feet Thursday near Huntington Beach Pier.

Additionally, the weather service on Thursday issued a coastal hazard warning of potential flooding in Orange County through Monday, identifying the most susceptible places as parking lots, parks and roads in Seal Beach, Sunset Beach and Newport Beach.

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Motorists who must travel in the affected areas are advised to allow extra time because some roads may be closed. Vehicles should not be driven around safety barriers or through water of unknown depth.

High surf events are typical for this time of year, with at least one every winter. Inexperienced swimmers are advised to stay out of the ocean while the advisory is in effect.

Three surfers take off on a monster wave off Newport Beach.

Three surfers take off on a monster wave offshore near Blackie’s By the Sea in Newport Beach on Thursday.

(James Carbone)

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High surf advisories mean great waves for surfers in Newport Beach

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