Canada Deadly rip currents could persist days after tropical storm Chris

18:29  12 july  2018
18:29  12 july  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

Tropical storm tracks towards Atlantic Canada

  Tropical storm tracks towards Atlantic Canada Tropical storm tracks towards Atlantic CanadaThe national weather forecaster says the storm is currently off the coast of Carolina and is expected to begin moving northeast later today.

Tropical Storm " Chris " formed July 8, 2018, off the coast of Carolinas, US as the 3rd named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, NWS NHC meteorologists warn.

The storm is expected to move up along the East Coast the next few days . Tropical Storm Chris is set to turn into a hurricane Monday or Tuesday and is forecast to bring dangerous rip currents and high surf along the East Coast.

a man riding a wave on a surfboard in the water: Just because the sea looks calm, it doesn't mean there isn't a rip current present. © Paul Palmeter/CBC Just because the sea looks calm, it doesn't mean there isn't a rip current present.

Hurricane Chris has been downgraded to a tropical storm and will mostly miss Nova Scotia, but rip currents could pose a deadly risk at some East Coast beaches over the coming days, says a professor who studies the phenomena.

Chris Houser, dean of science at the University of Windsor in Ontario, said being in the water over the next few days could be dangerous.

"They pulse. Sometimes the water may seem to be relatively calm and the current's not very strong, but then a minute later and a whole bunch of waves have just broken, the current picks up and can take you offshore," he told CBC's Maritime Noon .

Tropical storm Chris reaches hurricane strength as it heads north toward Newfoundland

  Tropical storm Chris reaches hurricane strength as it heads north toward Newfoundland Weather forecasters say tropical storm Chris has reached hurricane strength while moving away from the U.S. coast in the Atlantic.Chris, a tropical storm churning off the coast of the mid-Atlantic U.S. states, strengthened to become a hurricane on Tuesday and was not expected to make landfall over the U.S., the National Hurricane Center said.

The current Tropical Storm Chris is growing in size and strength as it passes over the warm Gulf Stream waters. The Tropical Storm will be causing increased swells off the coast of North Carolina and mid-Atlantic states which “ could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions".

If forecasted predictions hold, Tropical Storm Chris will “These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.” The National Weather Service is predicing a moderate risk of dangerous rip currents stretching from Sandy Hook to Cape May.

The strong post-tropical storm Chris is expected to track across the southern Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland Thursday afternoon, said meteorologist Jim Abraham, with a chance of rain clipping southeastern Cape Breton.

Environment Canada says ocean swells west of Halifax will reach two to three metres, three to four metres further east, and will gradually diminish Thursday night into Friday.

Worst rip currents can happen days after storm

Houser said the so-called calm after the storm could lull people into a false sense of safety.

"What may seem calm after the storm actually can be the most dangerous situation," he said.

"And the majority of drownings that have happened in parts of Florida are two to three days after a major tropical storm or hurricane when people believe it's now safe, but the [sand]bars have now got into this configuration where the rips are very, very strong."

Post-tropical storm Chris veers west, drenching Gander

  Post-tropical storm Chris veers west, drenching Gander St. John's and surrounding areas were spared the rain, but not the high winds.  "[It] took a more westward track ... [ended up] moving through Placentia Bay right up through Trinity Bay," says Wanda Batten, a meteorologist with the Gander weather office.

Tropical Storm Chris was upgraded to hurricane status Tuesday after it increased in speed and strength as forecasters warned that it would bring dangerous rip currents to the Jersey Shore this week.

At 7 a.m., Tropical Storm Chris was 150 miles south of Cape Hatteras with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, according to WRAL. “Its forecast track keeps it lingering off the coast for a couple days .” Swimmers should be aware of rip currents and rough conditions as the storm passes along the coast.

a close up of a map: This sign illustrates what swimmers should do if they're caught in rip currents. © Steve Bruce/CBC This sign illustrates what swimmers should do if they're caught in rip currents.

Rip currents occur when high surf pushes water up on the shore, and it rushes back out to sea in narrow channels between sandbars. They can occur at any beach with breaking waves, including any of the world's oceans, seas and large lakes.

Houser warns conditions can change and rip currents can happen suddenly with changing wind and wave conditions.

"The beach that was safe this morning is no longer safe this afternoon," said Houser.

What to do if you're caught in a rip current

The Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service also offers these tips if you get caught in a rip current:

Houser said the strongest water movement in a rip current is where you're most buoyant — at chest level.

"And so you could be jumping in the waves and you get picked up by waves, you lose your footing and that current has pushed you offshore where you know can no longer touch," he said.

He said he's measured rip currents as fast as three metres per second that can move people offshore.

Houser said it's very difficult to spot a rip current, especially for someone who hasn't spent much time at the beach.

Read more articles from CBC Nova Scotia

  • "Don't panic.
  • Poor/tired swimmers should swim parallel to shore approximately 30 metres, then return to shore.
  • Strong swimmers should swim at a 45-degree angle across the rip in the same direction as the side/lateral current.
  • If the current is too strong for you and you require assistance from a lifeguard, raise one of your arms straight directly above your head."
  • Swimmers beware 'extremely dangerous' rip currents with beach season in full swing .
    Swimmers beware 'extremely dangerous' rip currents with beach season in full swing A rip current, or commonly referred to by its misnomer rip tide, is a fast flowing current of water that's moving offshore in a channel.

    Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-83374-deadly-rip-currents-could-persist-days-after-tropical-storm-chris/

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