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Rip Tide Risk Warning Issued, Learn How to Spot A Rip Current

The National Weather Service has issued a high rip current risk for today for the entire New Jersey coastline.  Protect yourself by learning how to spot a rip current so you can stay safe at the beach this summer.

Seaside Heights
Seaside Heights (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Conditions are expected to support the development of “very strong rips” according to their statement that will be “life threatening” to anyone who goes into the water. Wave heights of 4 to 7 feet are expected today  along with winds at 20 knots.

There have been 3 drownings on the Jersey Shore within the past several weeks in Long Branch, Bradley Beach and Atlantic City in which strong underwater currents were cited as pulling swimmers under the water.

WHAT IS A RIP CURRENT?

According to the National Weather Service, rip currents can occur along any coastline that features breaking waves. Scientific investigations of wave and current interactions along the coast have shown that rip currents are likely present on most beaches every day as a component of the complex pattern of nearshore circulation.

As waves travel from deep to shallow water, they eventually break near the shoreline. As waves break, they generate currents that flow in both the offshore (away from the coast) and the alongshore directions. Currents flowing away from the coast are called rip currents.

Rip current
How rip currents form (NOAA)

How to Identify Rip Currents

Look for a channel of churning or choppy water or an area with a recognizable difference in water color. Pay attention to any lines of foam, seaweed or debris moving steadily seaward or any breaks in incoming wave patterns.

 

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