If you plan on heading to the beach this weekend, expect to encounter rip currents, higher-than-normal tides

Red flags flying Friday at Jacksonville Beach

If you plan on heading to the beach this weekend, not only will you have to dodge some showers, but you’ll encounter high rip currents and high tides.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – If you plan on heading to the beach this weekend, not only will you have to dodge some showers, but you’ll encounter high rip currents and high tides.

On Friday, red flags were flying at Jacksonville Beach. Red flags signal dangerous ocean conditions such as persistent large waves, strong long-shore current and strong rip currents, according to Jacksonville Beach.

The surf was looking great for those planning on catching a wave, but for families and small children, it was rough and was best for them to stay out of the water.

Jacksonville resident Tyrik Dawsey told News4JAX that he and his wife love coming to Jacksonville Beach, but that the water was too rough for their children.

“A child definitely shouldn’t be out there,” Dawsey said.

These rough waters are a result of Hurricane Earl, which just swept past Bermuda. In terms of the effects from Earl, you’re not going to see a difference on land, but you will feel the effects in the water. The swells from the hurricane will reach area beaches this weekend, increasing surf and potentially life-threatening rip currents.

Tyler Powell and Peyton Manson are surfers who were visiting from the Gulf Coast and jumped at the chance to surf. But they also said those who aren’t strong swimmers should take precautions this weekend.

“Just make sure that you know where people are surfing,” Manson said. “If you have family surfing, just keep an eye on them.”

“If someone wants to get in and surf, and it’s like this, definitely just keep them close to the shore, watch them and stuff,” Powell said. “You know, don’t be stupid.”

The next high tide at Jacksonville Beach will be at 8:10 p.m. Friday and then again at 8:33 a.m. Saturday.

Another location that will likely see higher than normal tides leading to potential flooding would be Fernandina Beach. Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service forecast Friday night’s high tide to sit roughly 2 feet above normal for Fernandina Beach in Nassau County. High tide is forecast at 9:05 p.m. Friday.

So from higher-than-normal tides to high rip currents and storms in our weekend forecast, you’ll definitely want to stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings.

If you’re caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore.

Rip currents (National Weather Service)