April 19, 202465Views

…High surf advisory in effect for the British Virgin Islands…

Locations to be affected: Reefs and exposed northeastern and northeast-facing coastlines with relatively shallow,
gently to moderately sloping, nearshore areas.

Timing: Until Friday Afternoon

Synopsis: Moderate long-period swells are reaching the area and causing hazardous conditions along mainly northeast
and northeast-facing coastlines. The threat level to the life, livelihood, property and infrastructure of those using the
affected coastlines is moderate with the potential for significant impacts. These swells could cause life-threatening
surfs and rip currents on affected coastlines. A high surf advisory means that dangerous surfs of 2 to 3 metres or 6 to
10 feet will affect some coastlines in the advisory area, producing hazardous conditions.
Seas (significant wave heights): 1.5 to 1.8 metres (5 to 6 feet), occasionally or locally reaching 2.4 metres (8 feet). Swell
period: 9 to 13 seconds. Swells: Northeast at 1.5 metres (5 feet) and occasionally higher.

Surfs (breaking swells): Over 2 metres (over 6 feet). These conditions are conducive to dangerous rip currents. Pleasenote that surfs could be as much as twice the height of swells, depending on the bathymetry of the nearshore areas.

Coastal flooding: High tides combined with onshore wind and swell actions could result in localised coastal flooding
and beach erosion.

Potential Impacts: 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; localised disruptions to
marine recreation and businesses; financial losses; damage to coral reefs; saltwater intrusion and disruptions to
potable water from desalination. High surfs can knock spectators off exposed rocks and jetties.

Precautionary: Beachgoers, especially to the mainly affected coastlines, should be extremely cautious; bathe only
where lifeguards are present or on the sheltered, less affected beaches, mainly to the south. Extreme caution is also
required by those using the affected non-beach or rocky coastlines.
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, jetties and piers. If caught in a rip current, relax and float.
Don`t swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore
and call or wave for help.


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Disclaimer: The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not a Meteorological Office. Information shared by the Department is gathered from a number of professional sources contracted by the Department. This information should be used as a guide for anyone who has an interest in local weather conditions. By no means can DDM or the Government of the Virgin Islands be held accountable by anyone who uses this information appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may result in the loss of finances, property or life.