Tropical storm Gert surged late Monday to become the second hurricane of the Atlantic season, the National Hurricane Center said. Although there is no direct threat to the Georgia coast, dangerous rip currents are a possibility.
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. It is strongest near the surface of the water, and it moves directly away from the shore, cutting through the lines of breaking waves.
The National Weather Services advises to check water conditions before going in by checking the local beach forecast or by talking to a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, signal for help in the direction of the Beach Patrol. Remain calm. Do not attempt to move directly toward shore. Instead, move sideways across the rip current until free.
For now, the storm posed no risk to land as it was far from Bermuda, the NHC said. The Atlantic Ocean is facing a higher likelihood of an "extremely active" hurricane season with more storms than previously predicted, US forecasters warned last week, updating the previous outlook issued in May.
Between 14 and 19 big storms -- ranging from tropical storms to powerful hurricanes -- are now expected for the Atlantic, up from 11 to 17 predicted in the May outlook.
Five to nine of those could be hurricanes, and two to five of those could be major hurricanes.
A major hurricane means Category 3 or higher with wind speeds of 111-129 miles per hour.