Met office predicts worst swell event of the season


Urgent – Marine Weather Message
High Surf Warning

Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services
11:45 AM Friday 4 February 2022

…High surf warning goes into effect Friday night for the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Barbuda…

Locations to be affected: Reefs and especially exposed northern and eastern coastlines with relatively
shallow, gentle to moderately sloping, nearshore areas.

Timing: This evening until Saturday night for the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Barbuda and Friday
around midnight until around 2 am Sunday morning for Antigua.

Synopsis: Moderate long period swells are expected to reach the area and affect mainly northern and eastern
coastlines. The threat level to the life, livelihood, property and infrastructure of those using the affected
coastlines is forecast to rise to high, with the potential for extensive impacts. These swells are expected to
cause life-threatening surfs and rip currents for affected coastlines. A high surf warning means that
dangerous battering surfs of over 3 metres or over 10 feet will affect some coastlines in the warning area,
producing hazardous conditions. This warning will likely be extended to Antigua by Saturday morning.

Seas (significant wave heights): 2 to 3 metres (7 to 10 feet), occasionally or locally reaching near 4 metres
(13 feet). Swell period: 9 to 15 seconds. Swells: North-northeast at 1.8 to 2.7 metres (6 to 9 feet) and
occasionally higher.

Surfs (breaking swells): Over 3 metres (over 10 feet). These conditions will be very conducive for dangerous
rip currents. Please note 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 will result in 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; 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 actions: No one should enter the waters of the main warning areas. All are also urged to stay
away from rocky and or coastal structures along affected 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.

Please continue to monitor these hazardous, life-threatening marine conditions. Stay tuned to updates
coming out of the Meteorological Office via, and Also, stay tuned to ABS Radio and TV along with other media platforms for

Forecaster: Dale Destin


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