Heavy surf, coastal flooding to pound southeastern Florida beaches

Rough surf and associated above-normal tides and coastal flooding will pound the beaches in southeastern Florida through this weekend.

The heavy wave action is not the result of any tropical system, but rather persistent and strong easterly winds from the Atlantic Ocean.

East to northeast winds will average 15-30 mph.

"Areas at greatest risk for beach erosion and for strong and frequent rip currents will extend from Miami Beach to Indian River Shores, Florida," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Paul Walker.

People venturing into the surf, especially where lifeguards are not present, should use extra caution.

Seas could be rough for small craft outside of the protected waters of the back bays. Waves over nearby offshore waters will hover between 6 and 10 feet much of the time through Sunday.

Even in the absence of easterly winds, tides will be greater than average over the next few days, when compared to most other days of the month. This will be due to the astronomical alignment associated with the new moon, Earth and the sun.

The persistent easterly winds will add to these higher tide levels. As a result, tides will run 0.5-1.5 feet above normal. Tide departures at this level are significant in that the range between high and low tide in the region is less than 2 feet.

Minor coastal flooding at times of high tide can occur, not only along the barrier island beaches, but also along the east-facing shoreline of the back bays on the mainland.

The worst conditions in terms of coastal flooding are likely to occur Friday and into this weekend, which is just ahead of and during the new moon on Sunday.

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