Rip Current Awareness Week is June 3rd through June 9th, 2007
Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past the line of breaking waves. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves, including the Great Lakes.
For more information on how Rip Currents develop, safety rules, and pictures of Rip Currents, check out the Rip Current NOAA website.
With increased study of rip currents, its has been found that there is a increasing occurrence of rip currents along jetties, piers, breakwaters and other structures that extend out into the water perpendicular to the shore, when the wind flow is parallel to shore. The potential for rip currents is highest and most widespread with onshore flow, however the curvature of the shoreline at many locations makes almost any wind direction of sufficient speed likely to produce rip currents when a shore-parallel or near-parallel wind pushes water up against these structures.