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Holiday weekend forecast: Possible showers in Times Square, dangerous waves on West Coast

ABC News

(NEW YORK) — As the holiday weekend starts, New York City ball drop watchers can expect potential showers while California’s coast is continuing to experience extremely dangerous beach conditions with dangerously large waves, life-threatening rip currents and coastal flooding.


New York City may have showers in the area as the ball drops in Times Square. Spectators should be prepared for mist, sprinkles and potential showers.

Elsewhere, much of the country is looking dry, besides snow showers in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania and parts of western New York like Binghamton and Ithaca.

Temperatures will likely be in the upper 30s at midnight in New York City and will be hovering near the freezing mark for Kansas City, Chicago and most places in the Midwest and North. Temperatures will be in the 40s and 50s in much of the South.

The California coast remains lined with a High Surf Warning until Saturday evening.

Powerful waves and strong rip currents will pose an exceptional risk of ocean drowning and damage to coastal structures like piers and jetties. Large breaking waves can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks and capsize small boats near shore.

Waves will be highest and strongest Saturday morning and slowly go down — but remain dangerous — throughout the day.

From Big Sur to the Bay Area, the threat for high surf and coastal flooding is a dangerous combination. Dangerously large breaking waves of 28 to 33 feet with isolated waves up to 40 feet are possible, especially in the morning hours of Saturday.

Numerous roads may be closed in these areas and low lying property including homes, businesses, and some critical infrastructure will be inundated. Some shoreline erosion will occur. Life-threatening swimming conditions and significant beach erosion can be expected.

In Southern California, the highest surf will be likely across west-facing beaches such as Hermosa, Manhattan, Palos Verdes Beaches and Ventura County Beaches. Dangerously large breaking waves of 10 to 15 feet with max sets to 20 feet and dangerous rip currents. San Luis Obispo County Beaches and Santa Barbara County Central Coast Beaches could see swells up to 25 feet.

Over the last 24 hours, much of the coast has seen 1-2 inches of rain, with a few isolated areas reporting over 3 inches of rainfall accumulation.

There will be more rain in California on Saturday. It will move quickly so accumulations are not expected to be too impressive. Snow in Sierra Nevada is expected to add 3 to 6 inches in places Saturday.

Sunday and Monday are expected to be dry and calmer for much of California.

The next storm to hit the West Coast is expected on Tuesday, intensifying Tuesday night into Wednesday.

By Thursday, this storm will bring rain to northern Arizona and rain for southern.

Next Friday, the energy and moisture from this storm may move into Texas and combine with additional moisture from the Gulf to bring rain throughout the state and eventually to the entirety of the Gulf Coast before exiting through the mid-Atlantic next weekend. By that time, the next storm may have already entered through the Pacific Northwest setting up a potential cross-country swing with rain and snow for the second week of the new year.

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