Memorial Day weekend may mark the unofficial start to summer, but beachgoers in several states are being warned of heavy rain, windy conditions and unhealthy bacterial levels.
Even if it's safe to kick off summer at your beach of choice, in some places it's not looking as enjoyable as you might like. Some U.S. beaches are likely to be plagued by cloudy weather or gross mats of seaweed this weekend.
More than 42 million Americans are expected to be traveling this Memorial Day weekend, according to AAA, which estimates a 7% increase in travelers compared to last year.
If you're headed to the beach, here's what to know:
Southern California: Cloudy weather, high bacteria and blue jellyfish
From cloudy skies along the coast (not-so) affectionately known as "May Gray" to high bacteria levels, some Southern Californians looking forward to a beach weekend might be in for a disappointment.
The National Weather Service in San Diego said marine layer clouds were covering the region on Saturday morning.
The first holiday weekend of the (almost) summer is upon us! Nothing but May Gray, below normal temps, cold water, and an increased risk of rip currents. Perhaps not the beach weather you were looking for 🤔 Either way, 3 day weekend! Not for us though. We'll be here as always. pic.twitter.com/IFTjaFFpQd
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) May 26, 2023
"The sun should make an appearance for most places this afternoon, but it may be pretty brief at the coast," the weather service said in a tweet.
Beaches in the region have also been littered with blue jellyfish-like creatures known as by-the-wind sailors or velella velella, which aren't dangerous to humans, that have washed up in recent weeks. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the slimy creatures can't control their direction and "sail" with the wind, and wash up on shore if blown too close.
Thankfully, they're small and unlikely to ruin anyone's trip to the beach.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County officials warned against going in the water at a handful of beaches due to levels of bacteria higher than what is considered safe. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said people should avoid swimming, surfing and playing in the water at the following beaches this weekend:
Mothers Beach in Marina Del Rey
Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica
Topanga Canyon Beach in Malibu
Malibu Lagoon at Surfrider Beach
Latigo Shore Drive in Malibu
Marie Canyon Storm Drain at Puerco Beach
Las Flores Creek at Las Flores State Beach
Stormy weather at southeastern beaches as Hurricane Center tracks weather system
The National Hurricane Center is monitoring a storm system off the coast of South Carolina this weekend and warned it will cause dangerous riptides and gusty winds along the southeastern U.S. coastline.
"Even though development into a subtropical or tropical cyclone is not expected, the system will produce gusty winds and dangerous surf and rip current conditions along portions of the southeastern United States coast through Sunday," the center said.
Officials warned about rip currents at beaches including Wilmington and the Outer Banks in North Carolina; Charleston and Myrtle Beach in South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Daytona Beach in Florida.
See the photos of Florida's sargassum seaweed
Southeast Florida beaches have been blanketed with "blobs" of sargassum seaweed, known for being brown and crunchy when it washes up on shore, and floating in island-like masses in the ocean, never touching the floor due to its buoyancy.
When it covers beaches, it can inconvenience visitors as they search for a clear spot to sprawl out or have to move the seaweed out of the way. It also rots after washing ashore and can produce a foul smell and even irritate the eyes, nose and throat.
Here's what it looks like on Treasure Coast beaches ahead of the holiday:
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT DELAWARE BEACHES: Headed to the Delaware beaches this Memorial Day weekend? Here's your guide
Contributing: Treasure Coast Newspapers
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Beach plans? Memorial Day to be dangerous or gross on these US beaches