Massive swells generated by Hurricane Marie off Mexico are predicted to reach Southern California beginning Tuesday.
Wave heights in some areas, notably north Orange County, are expected to exceed 20 feet on Wednesday, when the swell is expected to peak. Wave heights at the world-famous Wedge in Newport Beach could exceed 25 feet, according to a media alert issued Monday by Surfline.com.
Hurricane Marie, located about 490 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas and churning in a northwesterly direction, reached Category 5 strength on Sunday. On Monday, Marie was at Category 4 strength, still a major storm, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph.
Enormous swells began slamming the Pacific coast of Baja California Sur late Sunday, prompting officials to close the port at Cabo San Lucas, at Baja California's tip.
Southern California regions that will receive the largest waves, according to Surfline, include North Orange County, Southern Ventura County, and portions of North Los Angeles County.
But the swell should produce large surf at all south-facing areas.
Strong rip currents will be generated by the large surf, and coastal flooding is possible in low-lying areas during high tides on Wednesday and Thursday.
Hurricane Marie is expected to remain at hurricane strength until late Wednesday. It’s predicted to become a tropical storm by 5 a.m. Thursday, as it continues to weaken.