The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
-Psalm 19:1

Do you know that God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
-Job 37:15

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Impacts of Hurricane Cristobal

Hurricane Cristobal, though a "fish storm" not directly impacting land, still has an impact. As storms churn off the coast, there can be substantial impacts on shore.  In the case of Hurricane Cristobal, so far, I have seen reports of 4 deaths attributed to the rip currents caused by the low end, off-the-coast hurricane.

I'm sure, by now, you've had the opportunity to see images of the waves off the coast of California, spawned by Hurricane Marie, also a "fish storm".  The waves have drawn surfers and spectators galore.  Here is a link to an article with some pics, in case you've missed them.  They were monstrous, raging waves.

Along the eastern seaboard, the impacts of Hurricane Cristobal have not been nearly as dramatic as the impacts of Hurricane Marie were on the western coast, but there are still impacts.  They are impacts that are more subtle and thereby, I would argue, more dangerous.  Powerful rip currents are stirred up when a hurricane spins off-shore. 

Rip current
A rip current, commonly referred to simply as a rip, or by the misnomer "rip tide", is one specific kind of water current that can be found near beaches. It is a strong, localized, and rather narrow current of water. Wikipedia
 As unsuspecting swimmers are grabbing onto their last days of summer, before school kicks off in the northeast, they are subjecting themselves to dangerous conditions in the ocean.  Rip currents can grab a strong swimmer and take their life.  The narrowness of the current makes it virtually invisible and incredibly dangerous.  If for whatever reason you find yourself caught in a rip current, you are advised to swim parallel to the shore in order to escape it and then swim ashore.  Sadly, you will likely not be successful if you try to swim directly out of it.

Rip currents kill. 

I highly recommend that if rip current flags are raised, then you should stay out of the water, but if you happen to be in the water and get caught up in one, know ahead how to save yourself.  Educate your children, tell the people you're vacationing with... it could save someone's life.

Be aware of what's going on off-shore during your beach vacation.  Hurricanes that don't make landfall don't have much wind and surge impact, but there are other dangerous impacts that are helpful to be aware of...

Till next time,

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