The National Weather Service has issued a gale warning and high-surf advisory, both in effect through 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
The surf advisory covers the coastline from the San Luis Obispo-Monterey county line south to Point Conception in Santa Barbara County.
A fresh north-northwest swell will combine with locally generated swells to create dangerous surf and rip currents along west and northwest facing shores through Tuesday, the Weather Service warns.
The surf could likely range from 13 to 16 feet, forecasters predict.
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The peak is expected Monday night, with the surf subsiding to below 10 feet by Tuesday night.
The gale warning covers the waters from Point Piedras Blancas in northern San Luis Obispo County to Point Arguello at Vandenberg Air Force Base in northern Santa Barbara County, according to the Weather Service.
It also includes the offshore islands.
Forecasters expect northwest winds of 20 to 30 knots, with frequent gusts of 35 to 40 knots — the strongest of which are expected on Monday night.