The National Weather Service (NWS) has resumed the Surf Zone Forecast for the 2021 summer season, which includes information on rip current risks, current UV index, water temperatures, beach conditions, and more, per a recent update from the NWS Newport / Morehead City office.
The public can access the one-stop and interactive website via weather.gov/beach/mhx, and additional updates are available on the NWS Newport / Morehead City office’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity.
To utilize the interactive forecast, browsers can click on any of the umbrella icons, (which indicate a certain location along the Outer Banks), to obtain the current and future forecast for that area. In addition, the interactive map is color-coded, with red indicating a high risk of rip currents, yellow representing a moderate risk of rip currents, and gray indicating a low risk of rip currents.
Every year, several people die on Outer Banks beaches due to rip currents. As such, the public is encouraged to stay informed, and to check on current beach conditions before entering the ocean waters.
Dare County also released a new and improved alerts and notifications platform early in 2021 called OBXAlerts. Dare County uses the platform to disseminate a wide array of county and town alerts and notifications, including severe weather watches and warnings, public safety and emergency-related warnings, beach conditions, and other time-sensitive and routine notifications.
Users can choose which county and town lists they want to join when they are setting up and maintaining their profile. All alerts and notifications from the county can be sent via text, email and a phone call, depending upon the methods the user chooses as their preferred ways to receive information.