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Big waves expected to hit Costa Rica’s southern Pacific beaches over the weekend

May 3, 2015

An intense storm currently affecting Pacific waters in the Southern Hemisphere will cause big swells along Costa Rica’s coastline starting Saturday.

The weather phenomenon will generate powerful waves up to 3.3 meters (11 feet) high that will hit beaches mostly in the southern Pacific region.

Omar Lizano Rodríguez, an oceanographer with the University of Costa Rica’s Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR), said beaches in the central and northern Pacific regions will also see substantial waves — up to 2 meters (6.7 ft) high.

The National Emergency Commission is urging residents and beachgoers to be cautious.

“Waves off the coast of [the city of] Puntarenas will reach up to 2 meters height but likely will grow to 2.4 meters (8 feet) by the time they reach the coast,” Lizano said.

The waves are also likely to generate rip currents, which are very dangerous for bathers along the shores, CIMAR’s report adds.

Waves at Cocos Island will reach 2.1 meters (7 feet) both Saturday and Sunday, with stronger breaks at Wafer Bay.

Experts say the increased swells will not substantially affect tides, but they advise caution for swimmers and small boats during high tides, expected from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Waves are expected to start dying down starting Tuesday, according to CIMAR’s forecast.

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