NWS expects ‘high risk’ of rip current development on Saturday

    With periods of heavy rain and gusty northeast winds, it won’t be much of a beach day on Saturday, but ocean conditions will be dangerous for anyone entering the water, forecasters say. 

    With periods of heavy rain and gusty northeast winds, it won’t be much of a beach day on Saturday, but ocean conditions will be dangerous for anyone entering the water, forecasters say.

    The National Weather Service expects to raise the rip current risk from moderate on Friday to high for Saturday due to a strong onshore northeast flow and breakers up to seven feet. 

    A high risk means that surf conditions will likely generate life threatening rip currents. 

    The persistent onshore flow and elevated seas offshore could result in forecasters continuing the high risk into Sunday and at least a moderate risk on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. 

    Here’s 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.

    Rip current speeds vary, with an average pull of 1-2 feet per second, but some can move as fast as 8 feet per second, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer, according to NOAA.

    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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