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Approaching Storm Whips Up Whopper Waves at Point Reyes

POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE (KPIX 5) – The first storm of the season headed towards the Bay Area Friday and that makes for high surf conditions all along the coast.

The National Weather Service has declared a High Surf Advisory through Saturday, as larger than normal waves slam the Bay Area coastline.

At Point Reyes on Friday, some waves appeared to be more than 20 feet high. Swells sweeping in from hundreds of miles offshore, crashing along the coast, creating a show of force.

The Weather Service said these large waves will be erratic and unpredictable.

Point Reyes Big Waves
A sign warning of dangerous waves at the Point Reyes National Seashore, November 6, 2020. (CBS)

Supervisory Park Ranger John Golda urges visitors to be careful. "It is, like 10 miles in length with some amazing, big, ferocious waves, sometimes off the ocean."

One of the cardinal rules when on the beach is never turn your back to the waves. Some waves are stronger than others.

"One of these 'sneaker waves' can roll up, out of nowhere. They'll be two waves that merge together and crash higher up, and they've been known to knock people off their feet and sweep them out into the water," Golda told KPIX 5.

Like most visitors to Point Reyes on Friday, Richard Dee watched from up on the cliff.

"You have a lot of these Rip Tides that'll pull you straight on out. Very, very fast!" Dee said.

Carman Birkedal was visiting from Oregon and said she wanted to feel the power, the energy and the chill in the air.

Her advice? "I'd say go to Baja, where's its warm," Birkedal said.

The Weather Service said waves could reach as high as 22 feet in Sonoma County, and up to 20 feet south of Point Reyes down to San Francisco and San Mateo County, Meanwhile, waves could be as high as 24 feet off Monterey County and the Big Sur Coast.

The alert remains in effect through at least midnight for the Bay Area coast and 10 a.m. off the Monterey coast.

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