Parks Canada has issued an extreme wave hazard advisory, warning the public to use extra caution on beaches, shorelines and coastal waters in and around the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve from Thursday through Saturday.
Large ocean swells reaching up to 9 metres are predicted during the two day period — and high tides of up to 3.6 metres are expected to compound the wave hazard.
Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne tweeted that beaches were closing Thursday morning and said public accesses to beach areas were getting "rearranged" by waves and logs.
Beaches closing in 40 minutes - @TofinoCA staff getting ready, and their work AFTER the storm will be cut out for them as public accesses are getting “rearranged” by waves and logs! Stay SAFE, #Tofino. North Chesterman photos here: #bcstorm pic.twitter.com/pvhU86lFcc— @Josie_Osborne
Seismologist John Cassidy with Natural Resources Canada tweeted that the pounding waves caused enough ground-shaking to be detected by coastal seismic stations.
The strong winds and massive waves along the BC coast this morning:https://t.co/OJ4aglhnUv— @earthquakeguy
cause ground shaking that can easily be seen on coastal seismic stations - like this seismograph near #Tofino
See live shaking here:https://t.co/X3JnJSSRzn#NRCanSci pic.twitter.com/ARF8balk7H
Parks Canada said the massive swells could result in extremely hazardous surf conditions and flooded beaches — and that some beach parking lots and beach areas may be temporarily closed for safety reasons
Wave watcher lookouts
Park visitors interested in catching a glimpse of the wave action can use the Kwisitis Visitor Centre's Observation Deck at Wickaninnish Beach and the Florencia Bay Lookout to get a catch a glimpse.