Caution urged at Bay Area beaches

Large waves and rip currents will pose a threat to beachgoers at some Bay Area and Central Coast beaches this weekend, National Weather Service officials said today.

The warning is in effect from Friday morning through Monday for south facing beaches from Sonoma County to Monterey County, according to the weather service.

A long period southerly surge will arrive Friday with forerunners reaching around 2 feet with a period of 17 to 18 seconds.

The conditions will raise the threat of rip currents and sneaker waves.

Periods will decrease on Saturday and wave heights will rise, resulting in a swell of about 5 feet through at least Monday morning.

Large waves will break after long periods of small waves and may catch beachgoers off guard, pulling them into cold, turbulent water.

Residents and visitors headed to beaches Friday and this weekend, when temperatures area expected to rise above normal, are encouraged stay out of the water, stay farther back from the water’s edge and off of jetties and rocks.

Weather service officials said a beach hazards statement will likely be issued for this weekend.