Sea Forecast: Long Period Swells From Ex-Odette & Soon-to-be Sam To Affect T&T

The National Hurricane Center’s peak wave period and direction forecast charts showing how much time exists between the most energetic waves and what direction these waves are coming from over the tropical and subtropical Atlantic.

Over the next seven days, seas in and around Trinidad and Tobago are forecast to be normal for this time of year due to light winds. However, a large, gale-force, low-pressure system in the North Atlantic Ocean associated with the remnants of Tropical Storm Odette has produced long-period swells that are forecast to impact T&T.

In addition, a developing tropical cyclone to the east of the Lesser Antilles is forecast to gradually near the region as it strengthens into a major hurricane. More long-period swells are forecast to affect the region beginning next week.

Low-level winds are forecast to mostly be light to gentle through the 7-day-period.

A Hazardous Seas Alert (Yellow Level) is in effect for T&T from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service from 4:00 AM Friday through 11:00 AM Monday 27th September 2021.

Seas Forecast For Trinidad and Tobago

Sea state forecast through the next 7 days, as slight to moderate seas are forecast. Note that sheltered areas include bays, beaches, and generally the Gulf of Paria and western areas of the Columbus Channel in Trinidad and the western coasts of Tobago. Open waters are the Atlantic Ocean (Eastern Trinidad and Tobago), the Eastern Columbus Channel (Southern Trinidad), and the Caribbean Sea (north of Trinidad, west of Tobago).

In sheltered areas, seas are forecast to remain calm on days with no long-period swells affecting the country. When swells between 9-14 seconds arrive on Friday through Sunday, and again from Monday, waves are forecast to be below 1.5 meters generally with large, breaking waves exceeding the 1-meter mark along northern and eastern coastlines.

Winds are forecast to be light to gentle, with winds up to 15 knots from the east-northeast to the south gusting up to 25 knots, particularly next week.

In open waters, seas will remain slight to moderate with waves generally up to 2.0 meters as indicated above for Trinidad and Tobago by late Monday onwards. Generally, open waters east and north of Trinidad and Tobago will be the most agitated.

Tidal forecast for Port of Spain, Trinidad and Scarborough, Tobago courtesy
Tidal forecast for Port of Spain, Trinidad and Scarborough, Tobago courtesy
Tidal forecast for Port of Spain, Trinidad and Scarborough, Tobago courtesy

Impacts on T&T’s Shorelines

Impacts possible from long-period swells include the following:

  • Loss of life;
  • Injuries;
  • Sea search and rescue disruptions;
  • Disruptions to sea transportation;
  • Scarcity of seafood;
  • Damage or loss of boats and fishing equipment;
  • Disruptions to marine recreation and businesses
  • Economic losses.
  • Injuries;
  • Coastal erosion and flooding;
  • Localized disruptions of businesses;
  • Disruption to outdoor and sporting activities;
  • Disruption of sea transportation.

There is also the potential for loss of life. There is a high risk of rip currents, strong currents that can carry even the strongest swimmers out to sea.

Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from the 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.

There is also the potential for injuries to beachgoers; beach closures; localized disruptions to marine recreation and businesses and financial losses.

High tides combined with onshore wind and swell actions could result in localized coastal flooding and beach erosion.

High surfs can knock spectators off exposed rocks and jetties. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbors making navigating the harbor channel dangerous.

Saltwater will likely splash onto low-lying coastal roads. Bays and beaches may become inundated.

Coral reefs may experience increased stress and damages, in addition to localized beach erosion, particularly in areas where battering waves focus.

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