Hurricane Marie is Bringing High Surf, Mucho Traffic and Scant Parking: Update

See the update at the end of this post on Newport Beach officials warning of high traffic and scant parking because of people flocking to the coast to see high waves, particularly at The Wedge.
Buckle up, OC!

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 25, 11:06 A.M.: If you thought the surf that pounded Orange County beaches was treacherous this past weekend, you apparently ain't seen nothing yet.

But you will very soon, according to forecasters.

The Wedge Like You've Never Seen It Before

If you read to the end of the story linked above, you know that a 60-year-old man from out of town is presumed to have drowned while body surfing in big waves off Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point Saturday. A body has not yet been recovered.

Hurricane Lowell, about 1,000 miles away, produced 5- to 7-foot waves with powerful shore breaks and strong currents off the Orange County coast over the weekend, reports OC Lifeguards Chief Jason Young.

But there has been no time to breathe a sigh of relief as, off Mexico, Hurricane Marie intensified into a Category 5 hurricane on Sunday to become the strongest tropical system in years in the eastern Pacific Ocean, with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph.

The intensity slipped slightly to a powerful Category 4 hurricane since then (sustained winds: 150 mph), but while the system is not expected to have direct impacts on Mexico or Southern California as it weakens the rest of this week, "indirect impacts will be significant," according to meteorologist Brian Lada.

"Hurricane Marie will cause very rough and dangerous surf to spread northward along the beaches of Mexico and Southern California this week," writes Lada in an email. "While the impact on the surf from Lowell and Karina were diminishing over Southern California to start the week, a new series of swells will build Tuesday into Thursday over the region."

See Also: Huge Swell Hits the Wedge [SLIDESHOW]
Will Marie leave her mark?

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