What causes rip currents?

Know what to do if you get stuck in a rip current

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Friday might not have been the best weather for the beach, but sunshine this coming weekend might have you seeking the shore. With that in mind, Hurricane Arthur poses a particular danger for those going to the beach: strong rip currents.

While Arthur will pass by on Friday night, its effects on the shoreline will last a few more days,  as Arthur churns up the waters of the Atlantic.

A rip current is a narrow current of water flowing away from the beach, which can pull you out to sea.

Rip currents are caused by water being unevenly distributed along the shore. This can happen when you have taller waves, less frequent waves, or waves coming ashore at very direct angles.

The water then flows away from the shore in a channel, which can cause swimmers to get pulled away from the sand against their will.

Swimming against the current is sometimes impossible and can lead to exhaustion and drowning.

If you ever find yourself in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you get out of the current, which isn’t usually very wide.

Make sure to follow the 22News Storm Team for the latest weather updates, on-air and on WWLP.com.

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