Sea Forecast: King Tides Continue, Long-Period Swells Arrive By Midweek

Over the next seven days, the sea is forecast to be quite normal for this time of year with no abnormally large waves forecast for the region. Low-level winds are forecast to generally remain light through the forecast period, with long-period swells ongoing through today (Monday) but high-energy, longer period swells are forecast by late Tuesday.

Through Thursday, some of the highest hide tides and lowest low tides are forecast to subside. These tides are called King Tides, related to last Wednesday’s new moon.

There are no alerts, watches, or warnings in effect for T&T from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service concerning seas at this time,

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 below 1 meter generally. Long-period swells are forecast on Monday and mainly from late Tuesday through early Friday with swell periods between 11 to 15 seconds. During these periods, large, breaking waves may exceed the 1-meter mark along northern and eastern coastlines.

Winds are forecast to be gentle to fresh, with winds up to 15 knots from the east to southeast gusting up to 20 knots.

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

Note that King Tides will cause some of the highest hide tide and lowest low tide levels for the year. These tidal currents will require caution from mariners due to strong currents.

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

Impacts on T&T’s Shorelines

Due to King Tides, stronger tidal currents in nearshore areas; hence mariners will need to exercise extreme caution. Minor coastal flooding is possible in low-lying coastal areas as peak high tides occur.

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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