As the beaches begin to see growing crowds for the holiday weekend, those braving the water should exercise caution Friday.
A high surf advisory, rip current statement and fire weather watch were all issued for Friday by the National Weather Service.
A high surf advisory is expected to remain in effect for the Manatee coastal area from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. With it, a rip current risk remains in effect from 1 a.m. Friday through the evening.
High surf is expected to be between 3 to 5 feet, creating dangerous swimming conditions.
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Rip channels, powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore, occur most often at low sport or breaks in the sandbar, according to the National Weather Service.
Should a swimmer become caught in a rip current, he or she should stay afloat, remain calm and yell for help. Swimmers should not try to swim against the current, rather swim with the shoreline until they can return to the beach.
The fire weather watch is also in effect for Manatee County and surrounding areas from Friday morning though the evening. During this time, outdoor burning is not recommended, according to the National Weather Service.
Friday is expected to be sunny with a high of 64 degrees, but breezy with gusts possibly as high as 25 mph. The low is predicted at 44 degrees Friday night.
Saturday, however, will take a turn. Though the day’s high will be near 72 degrees, wind chill could make it feel as low as 39 early in the day. Gusts could be as high as 18 mph. Saturday night is expected to be partly cloudy with low near 60 degrees.
New Year’s Day will see a high of about 79 and be mostly sunny.