Hazardous seas and large breaking waves overtop the sea wall at Georgetown, Guyana
Hazardous Seas, resulting from long-period swells, which originated from strong Mid-Atlantic low-pressure systems continue to affect nearly all of the Eastern Caribbean Islands, to as far south as the northeastern coasts of South America.
Though the initial peak of this hazardous seas event occurred on Monday and conditions may become slightly more settled on Wednesday, the next peak is forecast to begin late Wednesday through early Saturday.
We’ve received reports and videos of large waves from bays and beaches across Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana which we’ve compiled into a playlist here.
A Hazardous Seas Alert #3, Yellow level is in effect for Trinidad and Tobago.
Impacts in Trinidad and Tobago
In Trinidad, coastal flooding occurred at Cedros, Maracas, Tyrico Bay, Guayaguayare and along Mosquito Creek.
Fishermen in Maracas and Las Cuevas were unable to go out to sea and instead spent the day repairing their fishing vessels on Tuesday as several boats were badly damaged.
One boat floated into the nearby river at Las Cuevas and its hull was punctured. Several fishing nets were washed out of boats and damaged as well.
At Maracas, according to a Guardian Media report, Lifeguard Patrol Captain Carl Hernandez issued a warning to the public to stay away from the water.
Hernandez said on Monday the beach was overpopulated and a 12-year-old boy was swept away from the shore about 300 metres into the ocean by a large wave.
Luckily, three lifeguards were able to rescue the child and bring him to shore.
In Tobago, large waves occurred at several bays and beaches across the island, with reported coastal damage at the entrance to the Pigeon Point Heritage Park, along Pigeon Point Road according to a TV6 report.
The Ministry of National Security, late Tuesday night, issued a public advisory titled “Lifeguards Warn Beachgoers and Swimmers.”
Impacts in Coastal Guyana
Several areas of coastal Guyana, from as far west as Ultvlugt to as far east as Cornelia Ida, experienced coastal flooding of varying magnitudes.
The Guyana Civil Defence Commission were deployed to Regions 5 and 3 to continue assessment of the impact of the spring tide and to provide support to the affect communities.
The teams distributed hygiene and sanitation hampers to assist residents with the cleaning.
In Region 3, Den Amstel, Hague Jib, Anna Catherina, Stewartville, Uitvlugt and Parika were once again affected by overtopping,
Subsequently, the strong and consistent waves resulted in damages to the Koker in Stewartville. Up to this evening, many residents residing along the seashores of Stewartville and Uitvlugt homes and yards remain flooded.
The CDC would continue to work with all the agencies to ensure residents receive the required relief.
Sea Conditions For The Next 7 Days
The Takeaway: Based on the latest model guidance and analysis, long period swells are forecast through next week, beginning on Sunday and lasting through next Monday. Spring Tides are forecast to subside by Thursday. A Hazardous Seas Alert is now in effect until 2:00 PM Saturday.
During high tide periods, as noted below, coastal flooding is likely along Mosqutio Creek, Guayaguayare and other low-lying coastal areas. The initial peak occurred on Sunday night through Monday, and the second peak is forecast again on Thursday night into Saturday.
Peak Spring Tides occurs from Saturday 26th October to Thursday 31st October.
Approximate high tides for Trinidad and Tobago are seen below. Mosquito Creek can expect coastal flooding during these times, particularly 30 minutes prior and 30 minutes after when peak high tides occur. Similar conditions are forecast elsewhere during these high tide periods in low-lying coastal areas throughout the week.
On days where localized, afternoon, thunderstorms and heavy showers occur, mainly across Western Coastal Trinidad, onshore winds resulting from this activity may exacerbate coastal flooding.
The general sea state throughout the week is as follows:
AM Wednesday 30th Oct. – PM Thursday 31st Oct.: Slight to Moderate, with waves generally between 1.5 meters to 2.0 meters in open waters, occasionally above 2.0 meters. In sheltered areas, near 1.0 meters but choppy. Long Period Swells ongoing.
PM Thursday 31st Oct. – PM Monday 4th November (beyond the expiration of the Hazardous Seas Alert): Moderate, with waves above 1.5 meters, up to 2.0 meters and occasionally up to 2.5 meters, particularly in Eastern Coastal waters on Saturday into Sunday. In sheltered areas, near 1.0 meters but choppy. Long Period Swells to subside by late Monday.
PM Monday 4th November – PM Thursday 7th November: Moderate to occasionally Rough. Though the long period swells are forecast to subside, a surge in easterly trade winds is forecast to whip up wind-driven waves with waves between 2 meters to 2.5 meters in open waters, with Eastern coastlines particularly affected.
Impacts to T&T’s Shorelines
High tides combined with onshore wind and swell actions could result in localized coastal flooding and beach erosion.
Saltwater will likely splash onto low-lying coastal roads such as the South Trunk Road at Mosquito Creek, the Guayaguayare Mayaro Road at the Guayaguayare Sea Wall, and the Manzanilla-Mayaro Road. 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.
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 surfs can knock spectators off exposed rocks and jetties. Breaking waves may occasionally impact harbours making navigating the harbour channel dangerous. This may be exacerbated during the afternoon, localized thunderstorms and heavy showers across Western coastal Trinidad.