Updated at 4:15 p.m. after the jump with comments from a county lifeguard official.
It's not a combination lifeguards like: High temperatures mixed with high surf. But it looks like that's the scenario in Los Angeles this week as an “excessive heat watch” for the L.A. basin Tuesday and Wednesday will be joined by a “high surf advisory” both days, according to the National Weather Service.
The advisory starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday and lasts through 11 p.m. Wednesday for the L.A. County coast. Apparently a long-range south swell from the Southern Hemisphere will bring 6-to-8-foot and sometimes 10-foot surf to L.A. beaches.
With strong currents and tons of water swirling around, rip currents will be common. Mix “rips” with tens of thousands of people heading to the water to escape triple-digit inland heat and it could amount to a recipe for tragedy.
“As the surf comes up our lifeguards go out and prevent people from swimming in dangerous areas,” county lifeguard section Chief Garth Canning told LA Weekly. “Rip currents are the number one concern when the surf is up.”
He advised beach-goers who want to get wet to swim and surf in front of a staffed lifeguard station. And he said don't be afraid to go up to lifeguards and ask for advice about the conditions.
Canning also said: If you get caught in a rip current remember to swim parallel to the beach until the pull subsides and then swim back in. If you can't do it, put an arm up and wave for help.