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Weather service warns of swells, rip currents this weekend in Massachusetts

A surfer entered the water at Horseneck Beach in 2018.John Tlumacki

It will be tempting to head to the beach this weekend, with sunny skies and temperatures around 80 degrees expected in the region, but weather forecasters warned that beachgoers should watch out for swells and rip currents caused by a weather system to the south.

“Hurricane Earl is taking shape south of Bermuda and is forecast to strengthen over the coming days,” the National Weather Service’s Norton office said on Twitter. “The good news, Earl remains out at sea, but be aware of increasing swells and rip currents come this weekend.”

The public should watch out for rip currents and high waves, but that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to get in the water, according to Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the weather service.

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“When you have a tropical system like that, that’s going to produce some swells,” which produce waves as they approach the beach, Simpson said. “People are still in a summer mood this early September, so it’s just a heads-up for planning.”

The greatest chances of rip currents are on south- and east-facing beaches, though each beach is unique, he said.

“Places like Horseneck Beach down there in [Westport], that’s really vulnerable to offshore swells,” Simpson said, adding later that Salisbury Beach is also a frequent site of choppy waters. “Each individual beach has its own topography, so really it all depends.”

Simpson said forecasters expect “a pretty nice weekend overall,” with a high around the average of 76 on Friday and slightly warmer temperatures Saturday and Sunday.

Friday is expected to be sunny after some morning fog burns off, followed by a sunny Saturday and a partly sunny Sunday, with a high of 82 in Boston both weekend days, according to the weather service. Winds are expected to be mild.

The humidity will remain down through the weekend, though it may increase Monday, and there is a chance of rain late Monday into Tuesday, Simpson said.

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“Hurricane Earl is taking shape south of Bermuda and is forecast to strengthen over the coming days,” the National Weather Service’s Norton office said on Twitter. “The good news, Earl remains out at sea, but be aware of increasing swells and rip currents come this weekend.”

The public should watch out for rip currents and high waves, but that doesn’t mean it’s unsafe to get in the water, according to Bill Simpson, a meteorologist with the weather service.

“When you have a tropical system like that, that’s going to produce some swells,” which produce waves as they approach the beach, Simpson said. “People are still in a summer mood this early September, so it’s just a heads-up for planning.”

The greatest chances of rip currents are on south- and east-facing beaches, though each beach is unique, he said.

“Places like Horseneck Beach down there in [Westport], that’s really vulnerable to offshore swells,” Simpson said, adding later that Salisbury Beach is also a frequent site of choppy waters. “Each individual beach has its own topography, so really it all depends.”

Simpson said forecasters expect “a pretty nice weekend overall,” with a high around the average of 76 on Friday and slightly warmer temperatures Saturday and Sunday.

Friday is expected to be sunny after some morning fog burns off, followed by a sunny Saturday and a partly sunny Sunday, with a high of 82 in Boston both weekend days, according to the weather service. Winds are expected to be mild.

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The humidity will remain down through the weekend, though it may increase Monday, and there is a chance of rain late Monday into Tuesday, Simpson said.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.