King Tides to Affect Trinidad and Tobago

Rough seas and large battering waves affect Tyrico Bay, Trinidad on October 29th, 2019. Photo: A Manshoor Images

King Tides, the highest high tides and lowest low tides for 2020, are carded to begin on November 13th through November 18th across T&T as a result of a super new moon. This may result in minor coastal flooding, particularly along Mosquito Creek, from 14th through 17th where peak high tides are forecast.

With non-severe winds and seas slight to moderate, coastal impacts will be negligible though mariners should still exercise caution during high tide.

Low-level winds are also forecast to surge by the beginning of next week which could agitate seas in our eastern coastal waters.

There are no alerts, watches, or warnings in effect from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service as of 2:00 PM Wednesday 11th November 2020.

Seas Forecast For Trinidad

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

Below are approximate high tides for Port of Spain, Trinidad. Low-lying coastal areas may experience coastal flooding when long-period swells are occurring, particularly 30 minutes prior and 30 minutes after peak high tides.

Tidal Forecast for Trinidad over the next 7 days as king tides and slight to moderate seas forecast.
Tidal Forecast for Trinidad over the next 7 days as king tides and slight to moderate seas forecast.

Seas Forecast For Tobago

Sea state forecast through the next 7 days, as slight to moderate seas are forecast, with king tides affecting the island. Note that sheltered areas include bays, beaches, and generally western coasts of Tobago. Open waters are the Atlantic Ocean (Eastern Tobago) and the Caribbean Sea (west of Tobago).
Sea state forecast through the next 7 days, as slight to moderate seas are forecast, with king tides affecting the island. Note that sheltered areas include bays, beaches, and generally western coasts of Tobago. Open waters are the Atlantic Ocean (Eastern Tobago) and the Caribbean Sea (west of Tobago).

Below are approximate high tides for Scarborough, Tobago. Low-lying coastal areas may experience coastal flooding when long-period swells are occurring, particularly 30 minutes prior and 30 minutes after peak high tides.

Tidal Forecast for Tobago over the next 7 days as king tides and slight to moderate seas forecast.
Tidal Forecast for Tobago over the next 7 days as king tides and slight to moderate seas forecast.

Forecast Discussion

Seas are forecast to vary between slight to moderate, varying between 1.0 meters to 2.0 meters through the forecast period, with more agitated seas in our eastern coastal areas.

King tides are forecast to begin on Thursday, with peak high tides occurring between the 14th and 17th November. Hence, coastal flooding is possible in low-lying coastal areas, including Mosquito Creek.

In addition, Tropical Wave 64 is forecast to move across the region over the weekend, with increased southeasterly winds possible on Monday through mid-week next week. Combined with king tides, during this 48 hour period, there will be elevated chances for coastal flooding along the Gulf of Paria facing coasts across northwestern Trinidad, in addition to southeastern areas of Trinidad.

Long-period swells are not forecast to be a major issue, with swell periods between eight (8) and twelve (12) seconds into next week.

From Thursday through Saturday, winds are forecast to be between 15 knots to 20 knots, from the northeast to east. Gusts up to and above 25 knots are possible in the vicinity of showers and thunderstorms. By late Saturday into Sunday, winds are forecast to be between 10 knots to 15 knots, now from the southeast to east. From Monday through Wednesday, increased winds from the east-northeast to east-southeast between 15 knots to 25 knots are possible, with higher gusts.

Impacts on T&T’s Shorelines

This is forecast to be a low-impact sea event, with the main hazards being minor coastal flooding, rip currents and coastal erosion.

Possible impacts associated with King Tides include:

  • Coastal flooding
  • Coastal Erosion
  • Potential for injuries or loss of life in nearshore areas, particularly during high tide periods.
  • Disruptions to marine recreation and businesses
  • Economic losses

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.

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.

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