December 30, 20181711Views

The Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services has issued a High Surf Advisory for the BVI until Tuesday.

North to northeast swells are reaching the islands. These swells are expected to cause dangerous breaking waves (surfs) and life-threatening rip currents. The swells will shift to the northwest on Friday.

Seas: 2 to 2.8 metres or 6 to 9 feet and occasionally reaching over 3.5 metres or near 12 feet, seas will subside a bit after the next 24 hours. Swells east at 1 to 2 metres or 3 to 6 feet and occasionally reaching near 2.5 metres or 8 feet.

Surfs: Breaking swells or surfs of over 2 metres or over 6 feet are expected. These conditions will be conducive for dangerous rip currents. Please note that surfs could be as much as twice the height of swells.

Coastal flooding: High tides combine with onshore wind and swell actions will result in localized coastal flooding and beach erosion.

Locations (to be) affected: Exposed and shallow northwest, north and east facing beaches and coastlines.

Impacts (possible/likely/expected): 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; salt water intrusion 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 advisory means that dangerous high surfs of 2 to 3 metres or 6 to 10 feet will affect beaches in the advisory area, producing localized beach erosion and dangerous swimming conditions. Beachgoers should be extremely cautious; bathe only where lifeguards are present or the sheltered, less affected beaches on the south.

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.

Forecaster: Dale Destin