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| Earth | Human World on Jul 02, 2014

Arthur may cause rip currents. Here’s what you need to know

As Arthur sweeps up the U.S. East Coast around Fourth of July weekend 2014, rip currents are expected to be a particularly large threat. What to do if you get caught in one.

As Arthur sweeps up the U.S. East Coast around July 4 weekend 2014, rip currents are expected to be a particularly large threat. More than 100 people die each year after getting caught in rip currents. These outgoing ocean currents are the #1 danger for people at beaches. Typical flow is at 0.5 meters per second (1–2 feet per second). These currents can sometimes flow as fast as 2.5 meters per second (8 feet per second), which is faster than any human swimmer. Learn what to do if you get caught in a rip current, in this video. And share with your kids! Brought to you by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

By the way, you’ll often hear rip currents called simply a rip, or you might hear them called by the misnomer rip tide. They really have nothing to do with tides.

Here's how rip currents form.  Breakers cross sand bars off the shore, and the water travels back to sea through the gap in the sand bars.  Via Wikimedia Commons.

Here’s how rip currents form. Breakers cross sand bars off the shore, and the water travels back to sea through the gap in the sand bars. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Learn more about rip currents from NOAA.

Bottom line: Rip currents – sometimes called by the misnomer rip tide – flow outward from beaches, often faster than you can swim. They are expected to be an issue due to Arthur on the U.S. East Coast around Fourth of July weekend, 2014. What to do if you get caught in one.

Tides and the pull of the sun and moon