National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Rip Current Hazards

Low Wind and/or wave conditions are not expected to support the development of rip currents. However, rip currents can sometimes occur, especially in the vicinity of groins, jetties, and piers.
Moderate Wind and/or wave conditions support stronger or more frequent rip currents. Only experienced surf swimmers should enter the water.
High Wind and/or wave conditions support dangerous rip currents. Rip currents are life-threatening to anyone entering the surf.

Surf Zone Forecast

General Information

Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves.

If Caught in a Rip Current:
  • Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
  • Never fight against the current.
  • Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off, which you need to step to the side of.
  • Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle--away from the current--towards shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.

For additional information visit:

NOAA Rip Current Site
Rip Current Safety Tips:

When at the Beach...

If You See Someone in Trouble, Don't Become a Victim Too...

  • Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard-protected beach.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Learn how to swim in the surf. It's not the same as swimming in a pool or lake.
  • Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don't go out.
  • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Lifeguards are trained to identify potential hazards. Ask a lifeguard about the conditions before entering the water. This is part of their job.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist along side these structures.
  • Pay especially close attention to children and elderly when at the beach. Even in shallow water, wave action can cause loss of footing.
  • Get help from a lifeguard.
  • If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.
  • Throw the rip current victim something that floats--a lifejacket, a cooler, an inflatable ball.
  • Yell instructions on how to escape.
  • Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.


This Outlook is an Experimental Product for Planning purposes Only!!!

The local rip current hazard graphics are valid for roughly a 12 hour period from the time of issuance (between 4 AM and 6 AMuntil 8 PM that evening. For the Rip Current Graphic, it will be re-issued in the late afternoon (between 4 PM and 5 PM) and be valid for the following day until 8 PM. The highest expected risk possible for the duration of the graphic will be depicted.

Updates will be posted for significant forecast changes and as time permits.

The outlook graphics are an effort to improve the interpretation of our outlooks and statements. This product is provided for emergency managers, law enforcement, schools, local media, businesses, and the public. Use the graphical hazardous weather outlook to factor the threat of hazardous weather into your daily plans.


DISCLAIMER: This is an experimental service designed to supplement pre-existing, official means of communication. Timeliness and reliability of products obtained from the Internet are not guaranteed.