Newly formed Tropical Storm Fay will generate dangerous rip currents at New Jersey beaches as the cyclone passes near the area Friday, forecasters say.
The entire Jersey Shore is under a Tropical Storm Warning, according to the National Hurricane Center.
After a moderate risk of rip current development Thursday, National Weather Service forecasters warn that increasing storm swells will make swimming more dangerous on Friday. The high risk might continue into the weekend.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water that flow quickly away from the shore, often occurring in low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as groins, jetties and piers.
At the coast, forecasters say impacts on Friday will be heavy precipitation — possibly between two and four inches of rainfall — sustained onshore winds between 30 to 40 miles per hour and gusts up 45 mph, and localized minor tidal flooding.
Good Afternoon! Here is the first briefing for Tropical Storm Fay, which is forecast to move northward along the New Jersey Coast Friday. Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued along the New Jersey Coast. For more info: https://t.co/HUOIiziqCD#PAwx #NJwx #MDwx #DEwx #TSFay pic.twitter.com/vSzluCiRqj
— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) July 9, 2020
Ocean temperatures at New Jersey beaches are currently in the middle to upper 70s. According to NOAA, the average temperature for early July is around 70 degrees.
NOAA recommends that you memorize these five words: “always swim near a lifeguard.”
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 and call or wave for help.