Heat & Rip Currents Return For The Weekend
New Jersey latest stretch of sultry summer heat began Friday morning with a bang as severe thunderstorms rolled across the state early Friday morning as the weekend promises hazy & hot conditions and possible rip currents at shore beaches.
A line of severe thunderstorms crossed the Delaware around 6AM and moved fairly quickly with 40 MPH winds and some vivid lightning.
The Asbury Park Press reports a home in Manasquan being hit by lightning but there was no fire while a post on the Jersey Shore Hurricane News Facebook page said traffic lights on Route 34 in Colts Neck as being out.
The summer heat really begins again with an increase in humidity. An Excessive Heat Watch beginning Friday afternoon and continuing through Sunday for Mercer, northern Burlington, Camden & Gloucester counties for a heat index of at least 100 degrees with increasing humidity each day.
The NWS also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for New Jersey that includes a “moderate risk of rip currents” to develop over the weekend.
There have been several deaths blamed on strong rip currents in the past several weeks. Swimmers should swim only when a lifeguard is on duty.
Keeping Your Car Cool
Source: AAA Mid Atlantic
Heat Can Zap the Life from Batteries – Most drivers think battery problems occur primarily in winter, but summer heat can negatively impact your car’s battery even more than the bitter cold of winter. Heat and vibration are a battery’s two worst enemies leading to internal breakdown and eventual failure. While drivers cannot do much about the heat, they can make sure their battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration.
Keep Your Engine Cool – Automobile engines work extra hard in the summer, and it is the cooling system’s job to protect the engine from overheating. In addition, additives in the coolant protect the radiator and internal engine components against wear and corrosion. Without proper cooling system maintenance, the odds of long term engine damage, and a summer time boil over, definitely increase.
Maintain Proper Tire Pressure - Driving on under-inflated tires not only affects the handling and braking of a vehicle, it also can cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of a blowout. This problem becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high. Tires should be checked when the car has not been driven recently, and they should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer—not the number molded into the tire sidewall. Recommended tire pressures can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker normally located on the driver’s door jamb. Some vehicles use different pressures for the front and rear tires.
Check Vehicle Fluids – Engine fluids are essential to keeping a vehicle running smoothly. Most fluids not only lubricate, they also serve as coolants by helping carry heat away from critical components. When fluid levels are low, this cooling effect is reduced, and the possibility of overheating increases. Drivers to should check all vehicle fluids including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake fluid to ensure they are filled to the appropriate levels. If any fluids need to be topped off, be sure to use the type of fluid specified in the owner’s manual.
Child Safety Heat Tips
source: National Weather Service
Make sure your child’s safety seat and safety belt buckles aren’t too hot before securing your child in a safety restraint system, especially when your car has been parked in the heat.
Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down.
Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars.
Always lock car doors and trunks–even at home–and keep keys out of children’s reach.
Always make sure all children have left the car when you reach your destination.
Adult Heat Wave Safety Tips
Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Do not drink alcoholic beverages and limit caffeinated beverages.
During excessive heat periods, spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.
Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.
Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.
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.
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.
Signs that a rip current is present are very subtle and difficult for the average beachgoer to identify. Look for differences in the water color, water motion, incoming wave shape or breaking point compared to adjacent conditions. Look for any of these clues:
- Channel of churning, choppy water
- Area having a notable difference in water color
- Line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward
- Break in the incoming wave pattern
- One, all or none the clues may be visible.
What To Do If You Get Caught In A Rip Current
- Try to remain calm to conserve energy.
- Don’t fight the current.
- Think of it like a treadmill you can’t turn off. You want to step to the side of it.
- Swim across the current in a direction following the shoreline.
- When out of the current, swim and angle away from the current and towards shore.
- If you can’t escape this way, try to float or calmly tread water. Rip current strength eventually subsides offshore. When it does, swim towards shore.
- If at any time you feel you will be unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
The National Weather Service contributed to this story.