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Weather Blog: NOAA Launches National Rip Current Forecast Model

Harmless green dye illustrates where there is a rip current.

A new rip current forecast model is aimed at saving the lives of beach-goers around the country.

Posted: Apr 9, 2021 12:40 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2021 12:54 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) —Rip currents account for over 80% of rescues performed by lifeguards.

A recent study indicates that over 100 deaths each year in the United States are due to rip currents.

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But, what is a rip current and what makes it so deadly?

A rip current or rip is a specific type of water current that can occur near beaches with breaking waves.

The current is strong, localized and narrow.

They typically form at breaks in sandbars, near jetties and piers.

What makes them so dangerous is that the current pulls you away from the shore into deeper water.

The speed of the current varies and even the strongest swimmer can drown from a rip current.

According to a release, NOAA is launching a national rip current forecast model.

It is aimed at saving the lives of beach-goers around the country and it includes the Great Lakes.

The new model can predict the hourly probability of a rip current up to six days out.

Impressive and fantastic!

This was made possible by the collaboration between NOAA’s National Ocean Service and National Weather Service.

The model leverages wave and water level information from the NWS’s Nearshore Wave Prediction System.

The forecast model also covers the east coast, Gulf Coast and portions of California, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Additional coastline coverage will be expanded in the future.

Rip current forecast for the Great Lakes will begin on May 20, 2021.

According to data collected by the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, 109 people drowned in the Great Lakes in 2020.

Of those 109 people, 56 drowned in Lake Michigan which broke the previous record of 49 reported in 2012.

This new forecast information will help with earlier predictions of rip currents and hopefully increase awareness and reduce the number of drownings.

According to the release, there will be further improvements with webcam imagery and artificial intelligence identification of rip currents.

This is only the beginning of rip current forecast that will hopefully save lives.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1365800

Reported Deaths: 21596
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1522221560
Cuyahoga1344852327
Hamilton976051320
Montgomery670271141
Summit562091047
Lucas50900863
Butler47417655
Stark41580976
Lorain31567532
Warren30001331
Mahoning26963639
Clermont25628292
Lake24585417
Delaware22313145
Licking20487241
Fairfield20420221
Greene20309272
Trumbull19866509
Medina19796287
Clark17879328
Richland16314234
Portage16130229
Wood15681208
Allen14115256
Miami13786253
Muskingum12641152
Wayne11946238
Columbiana11708241
Tuscarawas10953269
Marion10725148
Pickaway10465129
Scioto10324127
Erie9747171
Ross9436176
Lawrence8755125
Hancock8458141
Ashtabula8317185
Geauga8173156
Belmont8140187
Jefferson7527172
Huron7423128
Union731851
Washington7183120
Athens697165
Sandusky6848134
Darke6756136
Knox6671122
Seneca6358137
Ashland5948113
Auglaize587188
Shelby5727101
Brown564171
Mercer557890
Defiance5483101
Madison543371
Crawford5425114
Highland541581
Fulton530683
Clinton525580
Logan512182
Preble4994110
Putnam4833106
Guernsey470364
Williams459282
Perry449852
Champaign445964
Ottawa436884
Jackson425362
Pike388843
Morrow383851
Fayette375853
Coshocton374766
Adams360675
Hardin359069
Gallia347356
Holmes3259108
Henry324668
Van Wert314670
Hocking301769
Wyandot280658
Carroll262652
Paulding242243
Meigs213942
Monroe189749
Noble169340
Morgan165829
Harrison157940
Vinton138118
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
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Decatur
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