CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A coastal storm will generate dangerous rip currents and high surf over the holiday weekend.
The National Weather Service in Charleston said large breaking waves of three to six feet are likely in the surf zone and rip currents are likely along the beaches as the storm nears the South Carolina coast Friday and Saturday.
There is an increased danger for swimming and surfing, according to forecasters. “Rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away from the shore into deeper water,” they said in an announcement Friday morning.
A high surf advisory remains in effect through noon Saturday and a high rip current risk is in place through Friday evening. These advisories could be extended through the weekend.
Officials say inexperienced swimmers should stay out of the water due to the dangerous surf conditions. It is recommended to swim near a lifeguard.
If you find yourself caught in a rip current, experts say you should relax and float. Do not swim against the current. “If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help,” officials said.
Gusty wind, rain, and some thunderstorms are in the forecast through the weekend due to the coastal storm.
“Rain may be heavy at times and some minor flooding will be possible, especially Friday night into Saturday near the coast. Gusty winds up to 35 to 45 mph will be possible, especially near US Highway 17 to the beaches,” said Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Josh Marthers.
Forecasters say the storm could prompt elevated tides and localized beach erosion.