Giant waves, dangerous rip currents expected in Ventura County

The Ventura Pier is surrounded by high surf on Dec. 17, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Watch out, Ventura County. Big waves are headed your way this week.

A high surf advisory has been issued and will remain in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday, when a high surf warning kicks in. The warning will remain in place until 10 a.m. Friday, the National Weather Service said.

The warning indicates that the area will see “dangerously large breaking waves of 12 to 16 feet,” as well as “dangerous rip currents.” Prior to the warning, the advisory period is likely to see large breaking waves of 5 to 8 feet, as well as dangerous rip currents.

While Tuesday and Wednesday morning may seem relatively calm, the surf “will begin to increase Wednesday afternoon,” officials said.

In addition to the threats posted to swimmers, beachgoers and boats, the “powerful waves and strong rip currents will pose an exceptional risk of ocean drowning and damage to coastal
structures like piers and jetties,” the NWS added.

“Everyone should remain out of the water due to life-threatening surf conditions. Stay off jetties, piers, and other water side infrastructure,” the agency warned.

While the conditions in Ventura are frightening, beaches in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are even scarier, where advisory-period waves are expected to be between 8 and 12 feet. Warning period waves will soar to between 16 and 22 feet.