National Weather Service resumes rip current, beach condition forecasts

No swimming flag flying in Corolla. [Photo courtesy Corolla Beach Rescue]

Even though water temperatures are still rather chilly, the National Weather Service office in Newport/Morehead City kicked off another season of rip current forecasts on Wednesday.

“We understand there are some beaches closed, and visitors are prohibited from visiting those beaches at this time,” said NWS forecaster Tom Lonka.

“However, in keeping with the NWS mission of protecting life and property, we will continue to forecast hazards, and that includes warning for rip currents and other surf hazards,” Lonka said.

Ten deaths were directly blamed on rip currents along the North Carolina coast last year, including five on the Outer Banks.

Along with the rip current risk, other information in the Surf Zone Forecast include surf heights, thunderstorm and lightning risks, the UV index, expected sky conditions and high air temperature, wind speed and direction, water temperatures and tidal information.

New this year, the following day’s predictions are also included in the forecast that is issued at least three times daily and then updated as conditions warrant.

Text and email alerts about surf conditions are available every morning and evening for the Dare County beaches by signing up at LoveTheBeachRespectTheOcean.com, or text OBXBEACHCONDITIONS to 30890.

Currituck County offers text message alerts when beach conditions in Corolla are hazardous and require red No Swimming flags. To sign up, text SAFECOROLLA to 888-777.

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Sam Walker is news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3. Reach him at swalker3@jammediallc.com