© 2023 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WUSF is part of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network, which provides up-to-the minute weather and news reports during severe weather events on radio, online and on social media for 13 Florida Public Media stations. It’s available on WUSF 89.7 FM, online at WUSFNews.org and through the free Florida Storms app, which provides geotargeted live forecasts, information about evacuation routes and shelters, and live local radio streams.

Hurricane Franklin, TS Idalia cause rip tide conditions along Florida coast, weather experts warn


After the passing of Idalia, Florida's Atlantic coast isn't finished feeling the effects of it and Hurricane Franklin as the storms produce rip tides at the beach.

The National Weather Service has placed a Rip Current Statement along Central Florida’s Atlantic coast. The advisory statement comes after a weekend full of beach rescues in Volusia County.

Volusia County Beach Patrol made 286 rescues during the holiday weekend due to tumultuous rip currents pulling swimmers out to deeper water. Additionally, Spectrum News 13 reported two shark bite incidents involving a 37-year-old Apopka woman swimming at the Ponce Inlet, and a man in his 30s who was surfing at the Ponce Inlet jetty. The bites occurred in tandem with what is usually observed as the black tip shark migration season.

The National Weather Service predicts all of Florida’s Atlantic coast will retain dangerous rip tides through the rest of the week producing waves up to 5 feet high.

One reason why Florida waters are so powerful at this time is because of all the churning created by the tropical storms and hurricane activity, said John Pendergrast an NWS meteorologist.

“It was Franklin and Idalia over the Atlantic waters that we're sending a swell back to the Florida peninsula over the Atlantic. And so we were feeling the direct effects of that this past weekend. And it continues right now,” he said.

The NWS’s rip current statement is in effect until Wednesday morning but could extend into the weekend, Pendergrast said.

Meteorologists recommend not entering the water at this time, but if you already have plans, be sure to host your outing near a lifeguard tower and ask the guards how powerful the rip tide conditions have been.

Pendergrast said if you enter the water and get caught in a rip tide, don’t panic. The channels are not very large and don’t last long.

“Try to float or swim paddle parallel to the beach, wave your hands if you can call to help to those that are on the beach, and you should be able to make yourself back if you if you do those things, escape that pull," Pendergrast said. "Eventually the recurrent will let you go it's not going to pull you out two miles offshore for example."

Copyright 2023 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.

Joe Mario Pedersen