The National Weather Service has issued a high rip current risk for today for the entire New Jersey coastline.

Conditions are expected to support the development of "very strong rips" according to their statement that will be "life threatening" to anyone who goes into the water. Wave heights of 4 to 7 feet are expected today  along with winds at 20 knots.

There have been 3 drownings on the Jersey Shore within the past several weeks in Long Branch, Bradley Beach and Atlantic City in which strong underwater currents were cited as pulling swimmers under the water.

WHAT IS A RIP CURRENT?

According to the National Weather Service, rip currents can occur along any coastline that features breaking waves. Scientific investigations of wave and current interactions along the coast have shown that rip currents are likely present on most beaches every day as a component of the complex pattern of nearshore circulation.

As waves travel from deep to shallow water, they eventually break near the shoreline. As waves break, they generate currents that flow in both the offshore (away from the coast) and the alongshore directions. Currents flowing away from the coast are called rip currents.