How to survive if you get caught in a rip current
Tropical Storm Barry is churning toward the Louisiana coast, where it could make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane, or higher, this weekend.
Florida is well out of the storm’s path, but Bradenton and the rest of the Tampa Bay area are still in for some more wet weather going into the weekend.
In Bradenton and Manatee County, showers and thunderstorms are expected throughout the day on Friday, with a 60 percent chance of rain and up to a half-inch of rainfall predicted. Cloudy conditions will prevail, and wind gusts could reach 21 mph. The heat index is expected to max out at 99 degrees.
Rain chances drop to 30 percent on Friday evening, with scattered showers likely before 8 p.m.
Saturday is forecast to be partly sunny, with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible in the afternoon and evening. The chance of rain is 30 percent, and the heat index could climb as high as 104.
Sunday is expected to be partly sunny with possible scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Rain chances are placed at 30 percent.
If you’re heading to the beach, be aware that a rip current advisory has been extended for Manatee County through Friday night.
During rip current advisories, swimmers are advised to never swim out of sight of lifeguards and avoid swimming near structures such as groins, jetties and piers.
If you are caught in a rip current, yell for help, but remain calm.
“Do not exhaust yourself and stay afloat while waiting for help,” the NWS advises. “If you have to swim out of a rip current, swim parallel to shore and back toward the beach when possible. Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current as you will tire quickly.”
Rip current conditions are prevalent because of increasing swells generated by the area of low pressure over the Gulf Of Mexico, according to NWS.
The National Hurricane Center is also keeping tabs on a tropical wave off the coast of Africa. Forecasters give a 10 percent chance of developing into a tropical system in the next five days, but conditions are not favorable for that to happen.
The hurricane center will issue updates on all tropical activity throughout the day on Friday.