Urgent – Marine Weather Message | High Surf Advisory
Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services
11:55 pm Sunday 15 January 2023

High Surf Advisory goes into effect tonight for the British Virgin Islands; Monday morning for Anguilla and Monday afternoon for Antigua and Barbuda.

Locations to be affected: Reefs and exposed northern and western coastlines with relatively shallow, gently to moderately sloping, nearshore areas.

Timing: Late tonight until Thursday for the British Virgin Islands; Monday morning until Thursday for Anguilla and Monday afternoon until Thursday for Antigua and Barbuda.

Synopsis: Moderate long-period swells are expected to reach the area and affect mainly the northern and western coastlines. The threat level to the life, livelihood, property and infrastructure of those using the affected coastlines is to rise to moderate to high with the potential for significant to extensive impacts.

These swells could cause life-threatening surfs and rip currents on affected coastlines.

A High Surf Advisory means that dangerous surfs of 2 to 3 metres or 6 to 10 feet will affect some coastlines in the advisory area, producing hazardous conditions.

Seas (significant wave heights): 1.8 to 2.7 metres (6 to 9 feet), occasionally or locally reaching near 3.5 metres (12 feet). Swell period: 9 to 12 seconds. Swells: Northwest at 1.8 to 2.7 metres (6 to 9 feet) and occasionally higher.

Surfs (breaking swells): Over 2 metres (over 6 feet). These conditions are conducive for dangerous rip currents.

Please note that surfs could be as much as twice the height of swells, depending on the bathymetry of the nearshore areas.

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

Potential Impacts: Loss of life–strong currents that can carry even the strongest swimmers out to sea; injuries to beachgoers; beach erosion; sea water splashing onto low-lying coastal roads; beach closures; localized disruptions to marine recreation and businesses; financial losses; damage to coral reefs; saltwater intrusion and disruptions to potable water from desalination. High surfs can knock spectators off exposed rocks and jetties.

Precautionary: Beachgoers, especially to the mainly affected coastlines, should be extremely cautious; bathe only where lifeguards are present or on the sheltered, less affected beaches, mainly to the south and west.

Extreme caution is also required by those using the affected non-beach or rocky coastlines. Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from 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.

Please continue to monitor these hazardous, life-threatening marine conditions.

Stay tuned to updates coming out of the Meteorological Office via antiguamet.com, twitter.com/abmetservice and facebook.com/abmetservice. Also, stay tuned to other media platforms for

Forecaster: Dale Destin