The Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Service has issued warnings for small craft operators and sea bathers against dangerous sea conditions including gale force winds, high surf and rip currents.
These conditions will be generated by an approaching frontal trough from the West increasing the instability in the atmosphere across the area over the next 24 hours.
The Meteorological Service in its latest forecast indicated that sea conditions are currently producing swells of 6-8 feet (1.8 to 2.4 meters). Sea conditions are expected to worsen going into Thursday with the possibility of swells as high as 10 – 13 feet.
The instability in the atmosphere will also cause partly cloudy skies tonight with brief passing overnight and early morning showers. The conditions will become locally cloudy at times tomorrow with a good chance of some widely scattered showers developing especially during the afternoon and evening hours.
Due to the high probability of these hazardous sea conditions the National Parks Trust has announced that beaches under their management will be closed to bathers, swimmers, snorkelers and paddle boarders until further notice. Permit-holding Yachters may still use the moorings in the adjacent nearshore mooring field, but at their own risk. The terrestrial trails will still be open for hikers and sight-seers but persons in the Park must follow all instructions of the Trust Wardens on duty.
Other north shore beaches maybe closed and red flagged by Tuesday afternoon (10 January 2017) to ensure safety of residents and visitors. Information on additional closures will be communicated, in further advisories to be issued tomorrow.
Small craft operators should refrain from venturing out from shore due to the sea conditions and persons should ensure that vessels are secured properly as rough seas could cause them to get loose and damage nearby property. Businesses and tourism properties that operate close to shore, especially on the northern coasts, should secure properties and closely monitor coastal activity for high surge from waves that could potentially cause serious damage.
The Department of Disaster Management is urging all to take note of the warnings in effect and adjust your activities accordingly.
The DDM will continue to monitor these conditions and provide updates.
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Disclaimer: The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI Government 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.