Rip currents possible at Southern New England beaches

Misquamicut Beach

The National Weather Service is warning swimmers about possible riptide currents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts as Tropical Storm Bertha passes within a few hundred miles of Southern New England.

The weather service said the threat of rip currents will continue into Wednesday evening for Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, the south coast of Rhode Island and Block Island.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation banned swimming Wednesday at Horseneck Beach in Westport. The beach and other facilities were open.

Forecasters said Bertha will be moving east of New England through the day and is expected to bring swells of 5 to 8 feet.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is advising swimmers to check surf conditions, heed the advice of lifeguards and not swim alone.

Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing away from shore that can be dangerous to swimmers.