NEWPORT BEACH — Strong winds and rainstorms have caused beach erosion along some stretches of the Balboa Peninsula, creating steep walls of sand as high as 6 feet — a reminder that winter is on its way.
Like the snow in the Midwest or the heavy rains of the Pacific Northwest, the erosion is an annual phenomenon that occurs in varying degrees in Southern California, depending on the size of the storm and surf.
It can all be traced to as far north as Alaska's Aleutian Islands, where storms start, then move south, bringing strong winds and equally strong surf with them, Newport Beach lifeguards say.
Ultimately, the storms create waves that hit beaches at an angle in what is known as a longshore current, or drift.
Egged on often by a strong east-west currents that's produced by a southerly wind, the waves begin to chew away at many of the south-facing beaches, as is the case with the Balboa Peninsula.