If you’re planning on hitting the beach Monday, there are three things you need to do.
We’re not talking about sunscreen or typing in your friend’s address on Google maps.
First, you want to make sure the beach you’re visiting isn’t under a fecal matter-related swimming advisory or a precautionary No Contact with Water advisory like the beaches in Key Biscayne, Fisher Island and Virginia Key.
Second, you need to read up on our safety tips for boaters.
And third, you need to check the forecast because it’s calling for some weather hazards.
Columbus Day is expected to be fairly sunny, with a low 20 to 30 percent chance of rain. But those living across the interior and western portions of South Florida could see some isolated thunderstorms Monday afternoon, with localized heavy rainfall and gusty winds, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.
The Atlantic coast is also under a coastal flood advisory until Monday night for possible flood hazards, according to the weather service.
Sensitive and low-lying areas from Palm Beach to the Upper Keys may experience minor to moderate flooding near high tides, particularly along the Intracoastal Waterway, according to forecasters. High waves and surfs could cause beach erosion and coastal flood impacts, according to the advisory.
Atlantic beaches also have a high risk of “life threatening rip currents and rough surf” at least until Monday night, according to the hazardous weather outlook.
This could be bad news for those of you who were planning to take a dip into the water and enjoy the mid to upper 80s beach weather.
The elevated rip current risk could make it dangerous for swimmers, according to the weather service. If you decide to go in the water, forecasters recommend you swim near a lifeguard and keep an eye on the colored flags.
If you’re caught in a rip current, do not swim against the current. Instead relax and float. If you’re able to, try to swim in a direction following the shoreline. If you can’t escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.
For boaters, the marine weather forecast says to expect 10 to 15 knots ( about 11 to 17 mph) of east winds with Intracoastal waters experiencing a moderate chop.
If you’re not a fan of the beach, you can always visit the movies, go bowling or take your dog to the park. Whatever you do, just make sure you enjoy the fairly sunny weather because once Thursday rolls around, the forecast calls for 40 to 50 percent of rain until Saturday night.