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June 20, 2005

National Weather Service to begin lake rip current warnings

The National Weather Service will soon begin issuing its first warnings about rip currents in the Great Lakes. While most people associate rip currents with oceanic storms, they can occur in any weather and even in lakes. Many people are not educated about the dangers in rip currents, especially in the center of the country where they typically are not an issue. Each year rip currents kill around 100 people, which is more than tornadoes and lightning combined! A rip current forms when intense surf pushed water up against a beach and it often becomes trapped behind a sand bar. The build up of water will eventually punch a hole through the sand bar and the water will funnel down the beach creating a strong current leading directly out to sea. Luckilly rip currents are very narrow. If you ever find yourself being swept out to sea in a rip current, do not swim into the current. Swim along the shore as the current tends to be very narrow. Eventually you will reach and area when the current subsides and then you can swim back into shore.
Tracking God's Fury:
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Tropical Storm Maria
Tropical Storm Nate
Hurricane Ophelia
EASTERN PACIFIC
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