MIAMI (CBS4) – Now that the rain is gone, you may be planning on hitting the beach this weekend to soak up some sun. If you do go, don’t plan on going in the water.
State emergency management officials said there is a high risk of strong and frequent rip currents through the weekend.
“Persistent and strong onshore winds along Florida’s East Coast could create hazardous beach and boating conditions, including waves of up to 10 feet and a high rip current risk from Nassau County southward through Miami-Dade County” said state meteorologist Amy Godsey.
A rip current is a narrow powerful current which runs perpendicular to the beach, out into the ocean. These currents may extend 200 to 2,500 feet lengthwise, but they are typically less than 30 feet wide. Rip currents can often move at more than 5 miles per hour or faster.
Beach goers are urged, whenever possible, to swim at a lifeguard-protected beach. If unsure of what the warning flags mean, ask a lifeguard about the conditions before going in the water. According to the United States Lifesaving Association, 80 percent of surf beach rescues are attributed to rip currents.
Also stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist alongside these structures.