The weather this past week has been incredibly wonderful and as we head to the weekend many are planning trips out to the beach. The US National Weather Service San Francisco Bay Area/Monterey has put out this important warning
‘A fast moving long period swell will impact the coastline Friday Morning and continue through Saturday Evening. This high energy swell will be capable of producing sneaker waves, especially along steeper beaches. Persons traveling to area beaches should use caution and NEVER turn your back to the ocean.
A beach hazard statement currently in effect http://1.usa.gov/gzxzp6
The California Beach Blog gave this additional explanation which helps understand the dangers a bit better:
By “fast moving” swell, the NWS is referring to the speed at which the swell front propagates across the ocean. In deepwater, wave speed is dependent on the wave period, and long period swell travels much faster than short period swell. For example, these 19-22 sec waves will travel at approximately 35-40 mph! In comparison, swell with a 12 sec period travels at a speed of about 20 mph.