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Huge ‘New Zealand swell’ hitting California

September 5, 2011 Comments off

stuff.co.nz

Newport Beach, California

AP

NEW ZEALAND SWELL: A beach goer takes photos of surfers and body boarders as a large swell hits California beaches.

Massive waves slamming into California’s coast – killing at least one person and causing millions of dollars in damage – are being labelled the “New Zealand surf” because of where they are coming from.

In a rare event, a big weather system between New Zealand and Antarctica has generated a heavy Pacific wide swell, bringing the waves to California.

Sean Collins, chief forecaster and president of Surfline, told news website Patch.com he warned Californian authorities over the swell.

“Extra caution is urged to keep the public aware and safe from these large waves and associated rip currents.”

He said it was one of the biggest swells to hit with some waves coming ashore at six to seven metres.

Collins said southern hemisphere storms routinely produced waves in California, but this latest one was in the top 10 percent of known waves.

The US National Weather Service has warned beachgoers were Read more…