Caution is urged along coastline due to large surf

Anyone planning to take a walk on the beach before or after the big Thanksgiving meal should use caution around the water’s edge, as higher-than-normal surf is expected to hit the Bay Area coastline this week, according to weather forecasters.

The National Weather Service has issued a coastal hazard statement for Northern California beaches from Sonoma County to Monterey, saying coastal spots could see waves as high as 10 feet, occasional sneaker waves and strong rip currents Thursday, forecaster Christine Riley said.

“It affects all of coastal Northern California,” Riley said. “Especially west-facing beaches will see the biggest swells.”

Strong winds that developed over the Pacific Ocean a few days ago off of Northern California are causing the swell, she said.

The hazard statement — which is less serious than a high-surf warning or advisory — was issued to make the public aware of unusual and potentially dangerous conditions.

“We just wanted to give the public a heads-up that there’s a higher likelihood of sneaker waves and rip tides on Thanksgiving Day,” she said.

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