Surf's Up So Mavericks Watch Is On

By Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Jan 11, 2010  |  Updated 4:11 PM PDT
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Physics of Surfing

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WAIMEA, HI - DECEMBER 8: Noah Johnson rides a wave during the first round of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Competition big wave surfing contest on December 8, 2009 in Waimea, Hawaii. Thousands of spectators and surfers are flocking to Hawaii's beaches to see some of the largest waves in the state in half a decade. Forecasters are predicting waves could reach heights of 50 feet. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Noah Johnson

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We are back on the Mavericks watch, thanks to a powerful system that started in the Gulf of Alaska.

The National Weather Service says waves up to 20 feet could hit the coast starting Tuesday night.

The surfer contestants themselves are the ones who will call the contest and that decision is expected Monday.

A high surf advisory is expected to last from 10 p.m. Tuesday until 4 a.m. Thursday.

While the waves are good for surfers, they are potentially dangerous for those who like to watch them, because along with the powerful waves comes a strong rip current in the surf zone.

Beach goers are advised to use caution and watch out for sneaker waves in addition to strong currents and localized beach erosion.
     
All coastal counties in the Bay Area are under the advisory.

The winter weather system is also expected to bring rain and gusty winds  to the Bay Area beginning after midnight tonight, National Weather Service  forecaster Diana Henderson said.
     
The system is expected to bring about one-half to three quarters  of an inch of rain to the region, along with wind gusts of about 20 to 25  mph, Henderson said.
     
More showers are expected Thursday as part of the same system,  followed dry weather at the end of the week.

More rain is predicted for the weekend and a larger weather system  is expected to hit the Bay Area next week, Henderson said.

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