High Surf Expected Across Caribbean This Week

Rough Seas – Little Bay

An urgent marine weather report has been issued by the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services.
According to Forecaster Dale Destin, “a special marine statement for high surfs is in effect for the British Virgin Islands from 8 am Sunday; for Anguilla from 12 midday Sunday and Antigua and Barbuda and the rest of the Leeward Islands from 2 pm Sunday, March 4, 2018 until 4 pm Friday, 9 March 2018.
“Northly swells will cause hazardous breaking waves (high surfs), life threatening rip currents and potentially flooding of some low-lying coastal areas.
“High surf (sea-bather) warning is in effect especially for exposed and shallow coastal areas.
“High surfs (breaking swells): Seas of 2.5 to 4.5 metres or 8 to 15 feet and occasionally higher, with breaking waves up to 5.5 metres or 18 feet, mainly on northern shorelines of the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Barbuda.
“Coastal flooding: High tides combine with onshore wind and swell actions is expected to result in some coastal flooding and beach erosion, especially around high tides.
“Locations (to be) affected: Mainly exposed and shallow northern facing beaches of the region. The more northerly islands such as Barbuda, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands will be especially impacted.
Timing: Sunday through Friday.
Impacts (possible/likely): Loss of life – strong currents that can carry even the strongest swimmers out to sea; injuries to beachgoers; beach erosion; sea water splashing onto low lying coastal roads; beach closures; localized disruptions to marine recreation and businesses; financial losses; damage to coral reefs and disruptions to potable water from desalination. High surfs can knock spectators off exposed rocks and jetties. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbours making navigating the Harbour channel dangerous.
Precautionary/preparedness actions: A high surf warning means that high surf will affect beaches in the warning area, producing beach erosion and especially dangerous swimming conditions. Beachgoers should avoid the waters, mainly on the northern sides of the islands.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore, which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and near structures such as groins such as jetties and piers.”
No word yet from the Access Division on how this will affect travel in the coming week.

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