It seems like the whole world is still talking about last hurricane season, since Puerto Rico is still being put back together from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Last year's season is still like a fresh wound that hasn't healed yet. And here we are, looking right down the barrel at the 2018 season, and there's already Tropical Storm Chris, about to turn into a full blown hurricane off the coast of the Carolinas.

How does that affect us, you ask? Well, all this maritime activity is about to cause some serious rip currents off our coast. They are super dangerous for swimmers, surfers, boaters, you name it. They're just bad news all around. Rip currents are strong, narrow currents that flow away from the beach and into the surf zone. If you're not careful, they will whisk you away from the beach, and out into the open water so fast, you won't even have time to process what's going on.

Here's a video highlighting a bit of the science of rip currents, and what to watch out for:

Also, you should check out this link from the National Weather Service. It's all about rip safety and how to get out of one. There's a lot of great info, plus other cool links to get you educated. Here's a great example of how they look:

Photo: NOAA
Photo: NOAA

See the clear spot in the middle? That's where the current is pulling water away from the beach out into the open water at an extremely rapid pace. If you were just lazing about on a tube or something, WHOOSH! Right out to sea.

If you are headed out to have some oceanic fun this week, keep your head on a swivel and be very vigilant. You do not want to get swept out to sea. And rip currents are going to be a hazard at beaches up and down the coast of Maine. So keep your eyes on the water, and keep your butt out of trouble!


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