Weather watchers say respect the seas - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Weather watchers say respect the seas

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - The National Weather Service is urging residents to be cautious as high surf is expected throughout the weekend. As a result, the Guam National Wildlife Refuge has closed Ritidian Beach for the weekend. If you plan on taking your family out for a great day at the beach, the NWS is asking you to remain cautious as high surf is expected through Tuesday. 

Downtown at the Hagatna Boat Basin, waves are estimated to be as high as 12'. NWS forecaster Clint Simpson told KUAM News, "We had a storm rapidly intensified just near Japan, and it produced a large northerly swell that has moved down near the Northern Mariana Islands beginning Thursday and it will last all weekend at least until Monday."

Large north-to-northeast swells will produce dangerous surf along north and east facing reefs of the Marianas throughout the weekend. "The reefs can be dangerous at any time but in particular, this is very dangerous surf. We can expect surf heights to about 15'. They'll average about 12-15' and especially in the north, northeast and moving around the east shores. We're going to have very dangerous surf," said Simpson.

Surf will be dangerous at 12-16' along north-facing reefs and 10-13' along east-facing reefs of the Marianas through this weekend. You're asked to stay away from exposed reefs and beaches especially those along north- and east-facing reefs as rip currents could be deadly. Said Simpson, "One big risk with these type of things is the rip currents. Swimming in what looks to be fairly good water, there's such a surge on the water where you can have rip currents and besides that, the bigger waves can break onto the reefs and it could injure people."

In the meantime, Simpson says families can still enjoy the weekend, but they're urged to remain vigilant and cautious in Guam's waters. He said, "Have fun for the weekend, but be very cautious and be very careful along the shorelines in these conditions."

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