Urgent – Marine Weather Message Special Marine Statement – High Surf Warning Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services 7:00 AM Wednesday, 7 March 2018

A special marine statement for high surfs remains in effect for Antigua and the southern Leeward Islands until Thursday, 8 March 2018, and fro the rest of the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands (BVI) until Friday, 9 March 2018.

Heavy northly swells will continue to cause very hazardous breaking waves (high surfs), powerful life-threatening rip currents and flooding of some low-lying coastal areas. These swells will continue to present an especially heighten threat to life and property in the surf zone.

High surf (sea-bather) warning is in effect especially for exposed and shallow coastal areas.

High surfs (breaking swells): Seas of 2 to 3.5 metres or 7 to 12 feet and occasionally higher, with breaking waves (surfs) up to 5 metres or 16 feet, especially on northern and eastern shorelines of the BVI, Anguilla and Barbuda. Swells are gradually subsiding.

Coastal flooding: High tides combine with onshore wind and swell actions is expected to result in some more coastal flooding and beach erosion, especially around high tides. Coastal residents in the warned area should be on the alert for rising water and take appropriate actions to protect life and property.

Locations (to be) affected: Mainly exposed and shallow northern facing beaches of the region. The more northerly islands such as Barbuda, Anguilla and the BVI will continue to be especially impacted.

Timing: Until Thursday for Antigua, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, and until Friday for Barbuda, Anguilla and the BVI until Friday. An advisory will be required at the end of the warning.

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 channels dangerous.

Precautionary/preparedness actions: A high surf warning means that dangerous battering waves will pound the shoreline, producing life threatening conditions. No one should enter the water, especially on the northern and eastern 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, jetties and piers.

Stay tuned for further updates.

 Forecaster: Dale Destin