Hurricane Eugene to create dangerous surf along Southern California beaches

Large waves from Hurricane Eugene will reach the coast of Southern California and threaten bathers and boaters through the middle of this week.

"Eugene, once a Category 3 hurricane, will slowly weaken over cool water and within dry air over the next few days," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

"As of Monday morning, Eugene was located about 540 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico," Kottlowski said.

Eugene became the strongest tropical system in the Eastern Pacific so far this season during this past weekend.

While Eugene will not directly impact California, waves radiating outward from the center of the storm will reach Southern California waters.

The increased threat for coastal waters comes following several days of extreme heat in the southwestern United States. While the latest heat wave is past its peak, thousands will still be heading to the beach for relief or summer vacation this week.

With Eugene well offshore and to the south, waves that propagate northward will bring the heaviest surf to the south-facing beaches on Tuesday and Wednesday. Waves during this period can reach 6 to 10 feet.

However, waves and rip currents will build throughout the beaches of Southern California and the islands into Tuesday. Rip currents are likely to become strong and frequent.

Waves can be large enough to cause considerable over-wash and minor coastal flooding along the beachfront.

Bathers and novice boarders should use extreme caution when entering the surf this week and heed all advisories.

Small craft operators should use caution and be prepared for a large southerly swell.

As Eugene weakens and remains at sea, waves and rip currents will diminish later Thursday and Friday.