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Rough Surf Claims Lives as Cristobal, Marie Slowly Diminish

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AccuWeather reports it's been a tumultuous week on both the East and West coasts as two hurricanes induced rough surf and a high risk for rip currents.

Waves as high as 20 feet are crashing onto the shores on Southern California, as Hurricane Marie continues to move outward from its center and toward the coasts of Mexico and California.

While the impact on the surf from Lowell and Karina diminished over Southern California by Monday, a new series of swells arrived Tuesday over the region.

"The huge waves reached the California coast later Tuesday into Thursday and were produced while Marie was a major hurricane, hundreds of miles away. It took a long time for the waves to reach the coast," according to AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

surf

Marie rapidly intensified into a Category 5 hurricane on Sunday, becoming the strongest hurricane over the eastern Pacific since Hurricane Celia in 2010.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Los Angeles has issued an advisory through Friday. "Very strong rip currents and long shore-facing currents will likely create extremely dangerous and life-threatening conditions for anyone," it read.

Despite the dangers, massive waves drew in both experienced and novice surfers.

Los Angeles County Lifeguards reported Wednesday that they had made an estimated 30 to 45 personal watercraft rescues in Malibu alone and another 10-15 swim rescues. One man was killed Tuesday.

Surf conditions will only gradually improve at the week's end. Those trying to get beach days in before the Labor Day weekenders arrive should exercise caution.

Meanwhile, in the East, rough surf from Hurricane Cristobal peaked Thursday, bringing dangerous rip currents and rough surf from Virginia to southern New England.

"It is pretty rare to have tropical systems affecting both the Atlantic and Pacific coast so severely with rough surf at the same time," Sosnowski said.

On Tuesday, the Ocean City, Maryland, Beach Patrol performed more than 150 rescues, according to CBS Baltimore. One man drowned near Ocean City's Inlet.

Many beaches have advised that bathers stay out of the water completely.

NOAA reported a high rip current risk for coastal New Jersey on both Wednesday and Thursday.

"High surf and large swells will produce dangerous pounding surge and rip currents at the beaches. These rip currents will be life threatening to anyone who enters the surf," the advisory said.

Even as Cristobal quickly moves away at the end of week, the East will not be entirely in the clear.

Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic, there are several additional systems being monitored. "One is an area of showers and thunderstorms spinning westward over the Gulf of Mexico. This system will be pushed onshore in Texas late this week, but prior to landfall, it will bring rough surf and the potential for strong rip currents along the western Gulf coast," Sosnowski said.

All three coasts should have gradually improving surf conditions at the start of the Labor Day weekend.

The Gulf system will move onshore. Cristobal will speed away in the North Atlantic, and Marie will dissipate in the open waters of the Pacific.

This AccuWeather.com story is published at NewsBlaze with permission.

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