High risk of rip currents in N.J. amid building heat, humidity

(Chuck Snyder/WHYY)

(Chuck Snyder/WHYY)

Beachgoers looking for at least some relief from searing heat and humidity Wednesday will have to deal with a high risk of rip currents.

The National Weather Service warns that anyone entering the ocean could face potentially life-threatening conditions. “People visiting the beaches should stay out of the high surf,” a bulletin advises.

The culprits include low tide occurring during the mid to late afternoon when a southerly breeze forms, three to four foot long period swells, and higher astronomical tides because of the full moon.

Excessive inland heat and humidity are also risk factor, as people will visit the beaches for relief.

How to identify a rip current:

  • A channel of churning, choppy water.
  • An area having a notable difference in water color.
  • A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward.
  • A break in the incoming wave pattern.

If caught in a rip current, NOAA advises:

  • Stay calm.
  • Don’t fight the current.
  • Escape the current by swimming in a direction following the shoreline. When free of the current, swim at an angle—away from the current—toward shore.
  • If you are unable to escape by swimming, float or tread water. When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, call or wave for help.

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