Dangerous surf warnings in effect - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Dangerous surf warnings in effect

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A rip current risk remains in effect from 8 a.m. Wednesday morning through this evening, according to the National Weather Service.

A high surf advisory remains in effect from 12 a.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday. A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the advisory area that can produce dangerous rip currents and beach erosion.

The high surf advisory has been issued to these Georgia counties: Bryan, Chatham, Liberty, Glynn and McIntosh. It also has been issued to these two South Carolina Counties: Jasper and Beaufort.

There is a high risk of rip currents for the beaches of south coastal South Carolina and north coastal Georgia.

Large, long-period swells caused by Hurricane Earl will reach the beaches of south coastal South Carolina and north coastal Georgia on Wednesday. These swells will create conditions that will be favorable for the development of strong and potentially life-threatening rip currents. No one should enter the surf when there is a high risk for rip currents. An elevated risk for strong rip currents will continue through Friday as hurricane earl passes east of the region.

These swells will continue to build Wednesday night and peak Thursday afternoon as Earl passes far offshore.

Expect breakers as high as 6 to 9 feet, which could be higher at times, along the beaches of south coastal South Carolina and north coastal Georgia beginning Wednesday night and continuing into early Friday morning.

Breakers of this size will make for extremely hazardous conditions along the beaches with large and powerful battering waves that will likely result in significant beach erosion, according to the NWS. 

Beaches that are vulnerable to erosion include: Wild Dunes, Folly Beach, Edisto Beach, Hunting Island, Fripp Island, Tybee Island, St. Catherine's Island and Sapelo Island.

Mariners should also use extreme caution particular near inlets because cuts and bays as strong breaking waves have been known to capsize boats.

The NWS recommends swimming parallel to shore if swimmers get caught in rip currents and then swimming back to shore once out of it.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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