Hurricanes on Both Coasts Bring Dangerous Surf

Beware of hurricanes straddling the United States even though they may not crash directly into either coast.

Hurricane Marie, a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds at 100 mph, will be no direct threat to land as it moves out to sea in the eastern Pacific Ocean -- but surf's up! The storm will bring large, perhaps damaging waves and strong or dangerous rip currents to the Southern California coast ... even as the storm will be 800 miles offshore.

Breakers could reach 10 to more than 15 feet for south-southeast facing beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, with high surf also possible for Santa Barbara's south coast. High surf advisories were in effect for those areas for this week. Swells were peaking today and Wednesday, with some subsiding Thursday into Friday.

Minor coastal flooding, beach erosion, and structural damage were all possible, as well.

California Prepares for Big Waves

Cristobal Becomes Hurricane, Moves away from Bahamas

Hurricane Marie Grows Stronger in Pacific

On the other side of the country, Hurricane Cristobal is making its way across the open Atlantic Ocean.

Cristobal was not expected to directly impact the United States, but rather to bring another type of danger this week -- strong and frequent rip currents.

Cristobal is the third Atlantic hurricane of 2014 after Arthur and Bertha both became hurricanes. The last time the season's first three storms became hurricanes was 1992, more than 20 years ago, when Andrew, Bonnie and Charley blew in.

Currently, the Category 1 hurricane continues to track north with an eventual northeasterly turn, strengthening just a bit over the next 24 hours, but remaining a Category 1.

Bermuda was under a tropical storm watch. Although it was not expected to get a direct hit, it could definitely see tropical storm conditions this week, with winds over 40 mph and rainfall up to six inches.

Swells generated by the Cristobal were expected to reach the East Coast in the form of breakers and cause rough surf and dangerous rip currents from Florida to Maine.

From Florida to the Carolinas, surfers and beach goers need to be aware of life-threatening conditions in the water through Wednesday. Then, from Virginia to New Jersey and up to the New England coast, they should take caution through Friday.

Luckily, waters on both coasts should calm down just in time for Labor Day weekend.

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