The risk of rip currents is expected to increase along the shore this week as two tropical storm systems deliver swells that will delight local surfers.
“We have a tropical storm system in the Atlantic and we are expecting long period swells increasing the rip current risk from moderate to high,” National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Robertson said Sunday.
According to the National Weather Service, the long period swells from the distant Tropical Storm Kirk will result in a moderate risk of rip currents along the coasts of Delaware and New Jersey through today.
Swells created by Tropical Storm Leslie are then expected to reach the coast here late today and are expected to affect the shore until the end of the week, creating a period of moderate to high-risk rip currents.
The conditions make the area desirable to surfers, Atlantic City Beach Patrol Chief Rod Aluise said.
“If Kirk moves further up, then we will have an increase in wave height and the risk of rip currents will become high,” Aluise said Sunday.
Aluise said wave heights are expected to reach 6 to 7 feet by Thursday.
Tom Forkin, owner of AC Surf School and a surfer for about 45 years, said September and October are usually good months for surfing along the New Jersey coast.
“Everybody’s expecting a good surfing week. We all love hurricanes when they miss us by 300 miles. We get the benefits,” Forkin said.
But with the good surfing conditions come dangerous rip currents.
Aluise said swimmers should swim only in areas protected by lifeguards. Since Memorial Day, the city’s beach patrol has made 1,121 rescues and “most are rip-current related.”
Robertson also noted that the summer of 2012 has been among the region’s hottest, coming in at the 10th warmest summer since record keeping began in 1874.
The region’s average temperature was 74.7 degrees he said, adding that 2011 saw the second hottest summer on record with an average temperature of 77 degrees.
That warm trend is expected to continue, he said.
According to climate predictions, there is about a 30 percent to 40 percent chance of temperatures being above normal for September, Robertson said.
The average September temperature for the Atlantic City area between 1981 and 2010 has been 77.5 degrees.
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