Stony Brook, NY, September 6, 2012 - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) advises that four to seven feet ocean swells from Hurricane Leslie are expected to affect New York's Atlantic coast - on Long Island as well as in Brooklyn and Queens - at least through this evening (Thursday). There is also currently a high rip current for ocean beaches through tonight, though NWS predicts these warning will likely continue through Monday as swells from Leslie affect the coast.
"Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from the shore, which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as groins, jetties and piers," the NWS explains.
If caught in a rip current, the NWS advises remaining calm and swimming parallel with the shore. "Once you are away from the force of the rip current, begun to swim back to the beach," the NWS states. "Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current, as even a strong swimmer can become exhausted quickly."
For more on how to avoid the grip of rip currents, see New York Sea Grant's related resources, www.nyseagrant.org/ripcurrents
. Safety tips and educational materials can also be downloaded via NOAA at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov