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Potentially Dangerous Rip Currents May Persist Into Fourth Of July Weekend

The big waves pounding the San Diego County coastline are expected to die down Friday but potentially dangerous rip currents may persist into the long Independence Day holiday weekend.

A National Weather Service beach hazards statement warning of 3- to 5- foot surf and sets to 6 feet north of Carlsbad will expire Friday evening. However, forecasters said rip currents would continue Friday and possibly Saturday.

"Although surf and swell will gradually lower during the holiday weekend, rip currents and hazardous swimming conditions may still be a concern," according to the weather service.

The weather service advised beachgoers to obey posted warning signs, use caution around the water and always swim near a lifeguard.

"Strong rip and longshore currents will create very hazardous swimming conditions," according to the weather service. "Rip currents may pull swimmers out to sea. Sneaker waves can suddenly wash people off rocks and jetties."

Rip currents are typically more frequent and stronger around jetties, inlets and piers. Swimmers who become caught in a rip current can escape by swimming parallel to the coast before coming to shore. Those who are unable to break free are urged to tread water and call for help.

High temperatures are expected to fall to average or below Friday, but large crowds are still expected at the beaches.

In the forecast for Friday were highs of 70 to 75 degrees at the beaches, up to 76 degrees in inland coastal areas, 76 to 81 degrees in the western valleys, 81 to 86 degrees near the foothills, 83 to 90 degrees with possible afternoon showers and thunderstorms in the mountains and 102 to 107 degrees in the deserts.

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