SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Mother Nature is whipping up coastal waters Wednesday morning, bringing big swells and crashing waves to local beaches.
An ocean storm swell is expected to bring big waves and strong rip currents along the San Diego County coast, according to the National Weather Service. The west-northwest swell is expected to build six to eight feet in the outer waters by Wednesday evening.
A high surf advisory for south San Diego County beaches is in effect and scheduled to expire at 4 p.m.
So lifeguards are warning everyone to use caution and are advising inexperienced swimmers to stay on the shore.
"We're monitoring the situation pretty good. We've got information from the National Weather Service that we are expecting waves that could be in the six to eight plus foot base range. So we're definitely looking at some of the exposed locations, making sure we are beefed up with our staff," said Sgt. John Sandmeyer with San Diego Lifeguards.
Minor beach erosion and minor coastal flooding are possible, and very strong rip currents are likely, forecasters said.
Wind is also a problem for local mountain areas. A wind advisory has been issued until 10 p.m. Thursday.
"Surface high pressure over the Great Basin and east flow aloft will bring moderate to locally strong northeast to east winds through early (this) afternoon," according to an NWS advisory. "Winds will strengthen again late this evening through Thursday morning, gradually weakening through Thursday evening."
Sustained winds in and below mountain passes Wednesday were expected to be between 20 and 30 miles per hour, gusting at up to 50 mph. Isolated gusts of up to 60 mph are possible, according to the weather service. In the valleys, sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph are expected, along with 40-mph gusts.
"The winds will make driving difficult, especially for motorists with high-profile vehicles," according to an NWS advisory, which urged motorists to beware of broken tree limbs and downed power lines.