Category Archives: Venice Beach Weather

Hot Sun, Big Waves, Roll On Weekend

Photo courtesy: Steve Christensen Photo


High surf will pound the coastline in Los Angeles and Orange counties today amid persisting high temperatures. A high surf advisory issued by the National Weather Service is in effect
in both Los Angeles an Orange counties. It will expire at 9 a.m. Sunday in L.A. County and 8 p.m. Sunday in Orange County.

L.A County surf will build to between 4 and 8 feet today, then peak at between 5 and 10 feet tonight through Saturday night. In Orange County, forecasters expect surf of between 3 and 6 feet today, 4 to 7 feet by Saturday night.

“A high surf advisory means that high surf and rip currents will make
swimming and rock jetties dangerous,” said an NWS statement.

The NWS forecast sunny weather today and highs of 73 in Newport Beach; 74 in Avalon and Laguna Beach; 75 in Palmdale; 76 in Lancaster, Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 79 at LAX nd on Mount Wilson; 80 in Long Beach; 82 in Irvine; 83 in Anaheim; 84 in downtown L.A. and Fullerton; 85 in Burbank and Saugus; 86
in Mission Viejo and San Gabriel; 87 in Pasadena; 88 in Woodland Hills; and 89 in Yorba Linda.

Temperatures will drop a few degrees Saturday, rise several degrees
Sunday and remain at that level until Wednesday, when a significant cooling trend will begin, entailing drops of 10 degrees and more in many communities, although temperatures will generally remain in the 70s.

-from CNS



The region’s heat wave will keep temperatures abnormally high today, though a little lower than Tuesday, when several heat records were set.

Offshore Santa Ana winds will persist but not blow as fiercely as
earlier this week, according to forecasters, who said more highs are expected in the high 80s and low 90s today. The heat, accompanied by wind and by low humidity, will keep the danger of wildfire elevated, but no red flag warnings are in effect.

On Tuesday, the downtown L.A. high of 89 broke the previous record for a February 9, of 85 which was set in 2006. The 88-degree high at LAX broke the date’s previous record of 85 set in 2006, according to the National Weather Service.

Records were also set at UCLA, where the temperature reached 90,
breaking the previous record of 85 set in 2006; Long Beach, where the high was 92, breaking the previous record of 86 set in 1991; and the northwest Los Angeles County community of Sandberg where the high of 68 broke the previous record of 67 set in 1951.

Temperatures will remain above normal into the weekend but ease today as offshore flow diminishes. The NWS forecast sunny skies today and highs of 67 in Avalon: 73 in Palmdale; 75 in Lancaster; 76 on Mount Wilson; 77 in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 83 in Saugus; 84 in Irvine; 86 in Anaheim; 87 in
Fullerton; 85 at LAX; 87 in Long Beach; 88 in downtown L.A., Woodland Hills and Mission Viejo; 89 in Burbank; 90 in Pasadena; and 91 in Yorba Linda and San Gabriel.

Thursday’s temperatures will be marginally higher in the Antelope
Valley but a little lower everywhere else. Still, temperatures will be above normal for several more days.

– from CNS

Woohoo! High Surf Advisory

Photo Courtesy: Steve Christensen Photo


Surf’s up!

A high surf advisory is in effect until Saturday morning. A long period west-northwest swell which originated across the central Pacific Ocean is expected to bring high surf to portions of southwestern California.

A beach hazards statement remains in effect through Friday evening. Dangerous rip currents and waves are expected due to elevated surf. Waves 4 to 6-feet with local sets to 8-feet on west  facing beaches are expected.

Remember if caught in a rip current swim parallel to shore until you are free of the powerful current. Caution should be used when in or near the water. Always swim near a lifeguard and and never swim alone.

Venice Resident Calls for Local Lumberjacks

Photo courtesy: Twitter @amberfeld


Southern California Edison reported outages affecting hundreds of thousands of customers in Los Angeles County as Sunday storms blew through leaving a trail of destruction.

In Garden Grove a Jack in the Box sign was felled by gusty winds and  in Westminster a tree was toppled, crushing several parked SUV’s and narrowly missing two people who were inside one of the vehicles.

Fallen Tree Venice Twitter Bill Stringfellow
Venice local Bill Stringfellow shared photos of the fallen tree on social media Photo Courtesy: Twitter

A tree in Venice dropped   one massive branch on Ocean Ave and Linnie Canal Court, disrupting traffic and drawing the attention of one TV news crew. Emergency services arrived at the scene however they were unable to remove the branch.

Local, Amber Feld,  put out a call on social media, hoping to rally the services of any Venice lumberjacks who might have been able to help remove the large branch.

Her tweet garnered an entertaining response from Mrqsgee…

Fallen Tree Venice Twitter Conversation
An entertaining exchange. Courtesy: Twitter


In the end it was Stringfellow, who along with his inner lumberjack, came to the rescue, “I bought out my saw and cut open a lane so cars could get through,” he said.

Since then the branch remains illegally parked on Ocean awaiting pickup. It better hope someone comes to  get it before Jackie Pucci has time to write up a ticket!

While the rains from yesterday have now cleared, a high surf advisory remains in effect until 2am Tuesday.

History Supports Berms’ Necessity – VIDEO

By Melanie Camp

It is a windy day in Venice. People along the Boardwalk dodge falling palm fronds, moving like they are in a live action version of Space Invaders. By the Pier the berms stand, a solid pile of soggy sand, their surface bearing the scars of heavy rain.

All is not calm after the first series of El Niño storms have blown through, dumping buckets of rain, and removing our social-media bragging rights over east coast friends. So far this winter, we’ve shivered through colder days than New York City.

Fred Barthel Stands Atop a Berm at Venice Beach 1
Fred Barthel knows how bad an El Niño storm can get

Fred Barthel says he’s on edge any time he sees a lot of rain in Venice. Barthel, 67, moved to Venice with his parents in 1951, when he was just 2 years old. During the El Niño winter that spanned the years 1982 to 1983 Barthel witnessed the destructive force of storms and rain that flooded Venice and destroyed the Pier. Resulting in the decision to erect the berms every year following.

The berms are now bulldozed into place at the start of winter by the LA County Department of Beaches and Harbors. The giant sand hills are to protect parking lots and other property from the potential damage of high tides and storm-charged waves.

Venice resident, Mike Targon, is one of a few who loses his ocean view when they go up, “I think putting up berms on the beach here to stop the tsunamis from coming to shore is a total waste of time and money, but I guess all they have to do is scoop up sand which is already there,” he says.

Other locals don’t mind the berms but they haven’t a clue why they’re here, “I have no idea, I don’t know what it’s here for exactly but we look forward to it so we can come and go sledding down the hill,” says Molly Simms, who lives nearby.

Barthel is happy when he hears the rumble of bulldozers that mark the beginning of winter in Venice Beach. He’s especially happy about the berms with this being another El Niño year, “I know it’s an inconvenience to have them but the kids like them to slide down them, and if it keeps the waves out then it’s doing a good thing,” he says from a cozy spot inside Cow’s End Cafe on Washington Blvd.

1983 Washington Blvd Flooded Down to Pacific 1
Washington Boulevard flooded Picture Courtesy: Fred Barthel

Describing the scene back in March 1983 Barthel says, “It happened overnight, it happened pretty fast. It was a storm surge coupled with a high tide. The water was all the way up to Pacific. It wasn’t deep but the waves were washing all the way up to the lights. Every place along here was all sandbagged in.” Barthel shows the photos he took of the flooded street.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that in that winter of 1982-83, a series of El Niño-driven coastal storms caused widespread and significant damage to beaches, cliffs, and buildings along the coast between Baja California and Washington. The California Coastal Commission now uses the 1982-83 storms as its design event for new development.

Reunion John Lennon and Fred Barthel Remember Flooding Down Washington and Sandbags Needed to Protect Businesses Including Hinano
John Lennon and Fred Barthel remember the storm surge that flooded Washington Blvd in the 1980’s

Stepping out of Hinano a man introduces himself, “John Lennon, that’s for real,” he says pulling out his drivers’ license to prove his name. Born and raised in Venice, Lennon says he “sand bagged right here in Venice, watched the Pier go away. It was hard. There was a lot of people on the beach, may be about 100 or so people on the beach, just trying to save the streets up here. It came all the way up here to the bar.”

As Barthel and Lennon share memories of the 1983 flood they realize they have more in common than sand bagging, it turns out both men attended Venice High together, “people look pretty different when they get older, we didn’t recognize each other,” says Barthel.

1983 The Aftermath Destruction to Venice Pier 1
Waves of destruction: The Venice Pier obliterated by El Niño storms Picture Courtesy: Fred Barthel

Both men have been around Venice long enough to have experienced a storm surge at its worst and neither is keen to see it again, “we watched our Pier disintegrate, our original wood pier. All the pilings were in. Tore it all up. It was amazing. You don’t see that, may be once in a life time. We thought we might see it again this year. Give it time, it may happen again. Mother Nature you know,” says Lennon.

The disruption the 1980’s El Niño caused to regular weather patterns drew global attention. According to Australian Government website BluePlanet, the California coast experienced torrential rains and winds. High tides severely eroded the coastline, dislodging kelp beds, and Fishermen found marine species that did not belong along the coast, and could not find species that did. Overall, Los Angeles had triple the usual amount of rainfall.

1983 Sandbags Line Venice Beach to Protect Homes 1
During the 1980’s storms local volunteers piled sandbags high to help protect homes along Ocean Front Walk Picture Courtesy: Fred Barthel

“It was very weird. I was very scary because people didn’t expect water to come up that far. So when it did there was a lot of people panicking. Sandbags were in front of all the houses and all the condos, all the way down to the beach,” says Barthel. He remembers the beach restrooms suspended in air because all the sand under the building had been washed away from underneath, “I was like another world down here when it happened.”

Standing atop a berm, wind thrashing at his hair Barthel continues retelling his story, “I saw people desperately filling sand bags, I helped them, we were on the beach here with hundreds of people filling sand bags so they could keep the water out of their houses.” The berms are a good thing according to Barthel, “I like to see them because I think they’re keeping out the bad effects of the storms. Ever since they’ve been putting up the berms we haven’t had a problem so it’s nice to see them go up because I don’t want to see that problem again. It was scary. It caused a lot of property damage. I hope we don’t need the berms again but something really weird happened in 1983 and I don’t want to see that again. I’d like to warn people not to be too complacent,” he says looking out over the sea where waves churn and wind whips up egg white-like crests, and on the horizon, another storm is building. “We’ll just have to wait and hope that it doesn’t get too bad. We don’t want to see what happened in ’83 happen again,” says Barthel.