Current conditions on Jacksonville’s beaches will be poor this weekend

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Thursday was gray, airy, wet and cold.

Classic nor’easter. Coastal conditions were particularly harsh with winds blowing up to 30 miles per hour. Thursday will likely be the coolest day through October. Daytime temperatures stayed in the low to mid 60s until a ray of sunshine raised the afternoon to 69 degrees.

On Friday, the sun returned with milder temperatures as the afternoon highs reached into the 1970s.

The problem was that the clouds had faded, but not the northeast winds that were pushing large 4 to 6 foot long breakers onto the area’s beaches. These rough waters extend into the Atlantic, where small craft tips apply until at least early Sunday. Offshore seas will range from 4 to 7 feet and with all of these onshore winds the tides continue to push on the beaches of the area. This reduces the amount of dry, sandy land for beach goers.

Be careful in Huguenot Park as the surf could catch some who spend there too close to the ocean’s edge.

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Pay particular attention to rip currents!

Keeping kids in shallow waters don’t venture too far as these surf waves are quite energetic and can easily knock you over. Remember, if you ever feel like the ocean is too much, it most likely is and you should stay in shallower waters.

If you ever get caught in a current where you can especially see yourself being pulled at sea, don’t panic!

Often times you try to stand in this current, but the sand under your feet gives way and you swim in the water. At this point, try swimming your way up or down the beach. Often times, you don’t have to swim very far up or down the beach, maybe only 20 to 30 feet, and you can feel the current relax. Then try to either stand, walk, or swim back to the bank.

Most importantly, even if incoming waves may hit you, don’t panic.

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Remember, most rip currents are short-lived (<3 minutes), only take you that far out (<150 feet), and are only that wide (<120 feet).

The fastest current is right on the beach and can reach speeds of 5 miles per hour!Swim up or down the coast

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