Heavy rainfall and category 1 hurricane force winds are expected to continue across Antigua and Barbuda into Tuesday of this week as a ‘bomb cyclone’, which stretched across the Atlantic, caused large swells of water and high gusts of winds across the region.
According to Meteorologist, Dale Destin, the Caribbean Basin has seen another round of large and damaging swells reaching its shorelines since Saturday, from a bomb cyclone.
Swells are forecast to exceed 3.5 metres (12 feet) and break at higher heights, as surfs, on coastlines. This is likely to be the biggest swell event since Swellmageddon of March 2018.
Although this system will form over 3220 km (2000 miles) away, it will have a significant impact on the region, through its strong winds pushing unusually high waves to our shores.
The first set of these swells will reach the Bahamas on Saturday; the northeast Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, on Sunday and the Guianas on Monday. The event will likely last three days from its start time. So, for the northeast Caribbean, its Sunday through Tuesday.
Swells will rise to in excess of 3.5 meters across most of the Atlantic waters of the islands. There swells will produce even higher surfs or breaking waves. These surfs could be as much as twice the height of the incoming swells, depending on the bathymetry/topography of the nearshore seafloor. This is expected to cause beach closures, as swimming conditions will become quite hazardous. Other impacts include:
- major beach erosion;
- flooding of some low-lying coastal roads;
- disruptions to marine recreation and businesses;
- disruptions to potable water from desalination;
- damage to coral reefs and
- Financial losses.
Destin added that the winds have increased and are expected to continue to do so, therefore a small craft advisory is still in effect for mariners and fishermen.
“We are advising persons to stay out of the water. Clearly, conditions are extremely hazardous and we wouldn’t want any issues to occur as a result of persons trying to brave this sort of hazardous beach going conditions.” said Destin.