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High surf, gloom expected on Fourth of July

Surf is expected to be high with dangerous rip currents on the Fourth of July and overcast skies are anticipated, say lifeguards and the National Weather Service.

“It’s probably going to be partly to most cloudy,” said forecaster Noel Isla of the National Weather service about Sunday night’s forecast. “It (temperature) will be in the lower 60s.”

Isla added it’s the typical May gray/June gloom pattern caused by the Catalina eddy.

“It’s a low-level pattern where there’s northwest winds that come down from the islands and veer off the coast creating a counterclockwise, low-pressure system that creates the clouds,” he said.

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Isla added the typical gloomy pattern this time of year generally weakens in late June or early July.

Rough surf conditions likely to continue through this weekend actually started Thursday,” said Lt. Nick Lerma, San Diego lifeguard spokesman.

"(On Thursday) between La Jolla Shores, WindanSea, Marine Street and the Rocks area it was very busy: Sixty rescues and a few mass rescues, the result of flash rip currents that are created suddenly because of a series of waves,” he said.

Lerma said lifeguards are predicting “serious surf” of 3 to 5 feet with a big swell coming Saturday expected to last until Tuesday of next week.

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It has the makings of a busy Independence Day weekend.

“We always take this weekend seriously,” Lerma added. “We refer to it as the Super Bowl for lifeguards.”

Lerma offered these tips for water safety on the Fourth:

  • Always swim near a lifeguard and avoid pocket beaches where there isn’t one.
  • Never dive off cliffs into the ocean.
  • Son’t mix alcohol and swimming.
  • Barbecue at least 12 inches off the sand and properly dispose of coals. Don’t leave them behind in the sand where they can be stepped on by others.