Through the next two to three days, a combination of increased low-level winds and high-energy long-period swells, are forecast to affect Trinidad and Tobago’s coastal waters. Particularly through Tuesday, peak winds and swells are forecast to occur, producing potentially hazardous seas across the country’s coastal waters.
While there are no sea-based alerts, watches, or warnings in effect for T&T from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service at this time, an Adverse Weather Alert (Yellow Level) cited “seas can also become agitated.” This alert is in effect from 11:00 AM Sunday through 11:00 AM Monday.
Seas Forecast For Trinidad and Tobago
In sheltered areas, seas are forecast to be between 1.0 meters and 1.5 meters through the next two to three days, mainly due to increased winds and swells. By Wednesday, seas are forecast to gradually improve.
Through Tuesday, long period swells are forecast to affect all coastlines of the country, with swell periods between 9 to 15 seconds, with peak swells up to 16 seconds. Because of these swells, waves in nearshore areas along northern and eastern coasts could exceed 1.5 meters, particularly through mid-weel.
Winds are forecast to be strong to near gale force, with sustained winds up to 25 knots from the southeast to northeast and gusts as high as 30 knots, higher in showers and thunderstorms.
These strong winds are forecast to agitate seas, with waves in open waters between 2.5 meters and 3.0 meters through Monday, when peak winds occur.
Impacts on T&T’s Shorelines
Impacts possible from rough seas include the following:
- Loss of life;
- 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.
Other impacts from the high winds, apart from hazardous seas, include:
- Coastal erosion;
- Localized disruptions of businesses;
- Disruption to outdoor and sporting activities;
- Disruption of transportation (air and especially sea) and
Winds could make some outdoor activities uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous. High winds can create dangerous fallen or blowing objects.
The strongest winds and the highest and most dangerous seas are forecast to begin next week. The highest seas will take place in the Atlantic waters of the islands.
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.