SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- An approaching storm front triggered growing swells along the Northern California coast Thursday forcing the Coast Guard to issued a warning to beachgoers and boaters to be on the look out for dangerous rip currents and deadly rogue waves.
The Coast Guard has issued a Coastal Flood Advisory and High Surf Advisory for Friday from 3 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Increasing southerly winds will blow in late Thursday night, followed on Friday morning by northwest swells as large as 14 to 16 feet.
"Boaters and beachgoers should be especially cautious on and near the water over the next several days," Danielle Couture, a search and rescue specialist at the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center, said in a statement.
Ryan Crivello, from Novato, was among the surfers testing the early waves on Thursday.
"Surf is looking pretty good," he told KPIX 5. "There's a north swell coming in that's building and should reach its peak on Saturday."
Crivello said the storm is a preview of the upcoming winter season when the surf can prove challenging even for experienced surfers.
"We're heading into winter when it can get pretty and pretty dangerous out there," he said.
Coast Guard officials said even larger swells are expected on some beaches on Sunday.
Strong rip currents and large shore breaks are expected to affect all west- and northwest-facing beaches from Sonoma County to Monterey County.
Rip currents can exhaust swimmers and are usually more frequent and stronger near piers, inlets and jetties, Coast Guard officials said.
Divers should evaluate their physical condition as well, the Coast Guard said referring to abalone divers along the Mendocino Coast, as that of
their equipment, never dive alone and cancel their diving plans if surf conditions are unsafe.
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