Beach-goers cautioned as large swell expected at Bay Area beaches

Bay Area residents headed to the beach later this week are being warned about potential dangers as a large, long-period swell is expected to affect Bay Area beaches, according to the National Weather Service.

The long-period swell will be active Thursday and Friday and will bring enhanced rip currents, sneaker waves, coastal erosion and a large surf, weather service officials said.

Surf heights during this time are expected to reach 22 to 27 feet, with larger sets possible.

Large sneaker waves are extremely dangerous and can catch people off-guard, potentially pulling them into the cold, turbulent ocean water, according to the weather service.

During the swell, beach-goers are advised to stay out of the water. 

They should also remain farther back from the water's edge and off of rocks and jetties, weather service officials said.