During a beach hazard alert don’t turn your back on the ocean. Large unexpected waves that can sweep across the beach without warning are in place until eight tonight.
“The real key is to keep an eye [on] the waves,” said Ryan Alyward, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NOAA. “Never turn [your] back on the ocean. Stay far back from the surf on days like today when there’s a sneaker wave threat. As we go through the winter we will issue, more of these beach hazards statements.”
A sneaker wave is a large powerful coastal wave that approaches the shore unexpectedly. Choose your beach carefully. During sneaker wave warnings, look for beaches that are flat like Clam Beach or Moonstone. Avoid steep beaches like Lagoon Beach and Black Sands Beach.
“In our waters with the very cold temperatures getting washed in the water can be very dangerous,” Alyward said. “Sneaker waves are seemingly larger. They basically stack up on each other and then wash up farther onto the beach.”
Even though this warning was just for a day, sneaker wave season is coming in the winter.
“Historically, we’ve lost a couple of people to these waves in previous years,” Alyward said. “So we really encourage people to really be really careful out there because that can be really dangerous if you’re not paying attention.”