Photo from San Diego Fire-Rescue shows a rip current in the upper center.
The National Weather Service office in San Diego warned Thursday of dangerous rip currents on what could otherwise be a perfect beach weekend.
“A south swell with a long period will bring elevated surf and a high rip current risk for Friday through the weekend,” the weather service said.
The agency said the highest surf and strongest rip currents will be at south-facing beaches, with the greatest danger in Orange County.
Surf will be 2-3 feet in San Diego County and and 3-5 feet in Orange County.
High temperatures at the beaches Friday through Sunday are forecast to be in the 70s, with a slight cooling trend as the weekend progresses.
Rip currents are powerful currents of water flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves.
Swimmers caught in rip currents can quickly be pulled far away from the shore.