There will be a new item added to your Jersey Shore weather forecast.  It’s a Rip Current forecast.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are launching this nationwide effort with the hopes of ocean swimmer's lives.  The idea came from the collaboration between NOAA’s National Ocean Service and the National Weather Service to determine in advance dangerous sea currents and articulating those found on a scale from zero to 100%.

“Safety for beach-goers and boaters is taking a major leap forward with the launch of this new NOAA model,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “Extending forecasting capabilities for dangerous rip currents out to six days provides forecasters and local authorities greater time to inform residents about the presence of this deadly beach hazard, thereby saving lives and protecting communities.”

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“Rip currents account for an estimated 100 deaths in the United States each year,” said Gregory Dusek, NOAA scientist who developed the model. “Before this, forecasters were manually predicting rip currents on a large section of the ocean twice a day and only a day or two into the future. The earlier prediction has potential to substantially increase awareness and reduce drownings.”

The U.S. East is part of the country where the current model will be implemented.  Future plans for additional coastline coverage expansion are expected.

In addition, the use of webcam imagery and artificial intelligence identification of rip currents will be added to future models in the field.

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