Officials are warning of an increased risk of rip currents at the Jersey Shore and the Delaware beaches as Hurricane Chris churns out in the Atlantic.

How rip currents form, and how to escape one.
Staff graphic
How rip currents form, and how to escape one.

At least four people have drowned at the Jersey Shore this month, but it is not yet clear how many involved rip currents.

The National Weather Service says there also is a chance of spotty minor coastal flooding with Wednesday night's high tide.

It is expected to be mostly sunny with a high of 84 today at the Shore. There's a chance of showers after 10 p.m. and a slight chance of showers Thursday, when the high will be 91.

Chris, with wind speeds of 105 mph, is about 315 miles east of the North Carolina coast and is on an northeasterly track that will keep it away from the East Coast of the United States.

The National Weather Service says 47 people have drowned in rip currents at the Jersey Shore and the Delaware Beaches in the last 20 years. At least 15 people drowned at the Shore last year.