Fox News Weather Center

Dangerous surf to threaten beachgoers along southeastern US through Easter weekend

Those headed to the beaches along the southeastern United States should be wary of the threat for strong rip currents through the holiday weekend.

Beaches from Savannah, Georgia, to Miami Beach, Florida, will be at greatest risk for stronger and more frequent rips currents through Easter Sunday.

A persistent easterly wind off the Atlantic will trigger the rough surf.

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“Since this flow pushes water toward the Florida east coast, water will attempt to escape in narrow channels, known as rip currents,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

“While these currents are always present, in situations like this, the currents will be stronger and more numerous than average,” he added.

Vacationers and permanent residents should take precautions while at the beach. Only go to a beach under the watch of lifeguards, if possible, and heed all warnings issued.

Should you ever get caught in a rip current, never attempt to swim directly back to shore as you will be swimming against the current. Instead, swim parallel to the beach to escape the current’s grip before swimming ashore.

Small craft should use caution and heed all advisories.

“The flow will also generate spotty showers along Florida’s east coast, but not enough rain will fall inland to alleviate the wildfire threat over the peninsula,” Sosnowski said.

Almost all of the Florida Peninsula is dealing with abnormally dry to severe drought conditions, which has led to one of the worst wildfire seasons in years.

The blustery winds stirring the dangerous surf threatens to fan new flames and cause ongoing wildfires to spread.

As the easterly winds weaken early next week, the frequency and intensity of the rip currents are expected to decrease.