Waves up to ten feet high could form off the north coasts of both Trinidad and Tobago in the next four days.
Beginning on the morning of Sunday 10th March, the waves, formed by a combination of multiple North Atlantic cold fronts, could reach a height of an estimated five to seven feet at 18 second intervals. On March 11th, waves could reach up to seven to ten feet at 17 second intervals.
A warning issued by the NOAA National Hurricane Centre (NHC) on March 6 at 11.30 am said an Atlantic gale coming from the north-west will result in a cold front (a system of very high energy wind), which will result in offshore wind speeds of up to 35 knots or approximately 65 kilometres per hour. This will cause large waves in T&T waters, some reaching 15 feet high. Individual waves up to twice that height can possibly also occur during this event, according to the NHC warning.
The T&T Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), in a statement issued this afternoon, said they were “closely monitoring the situation” and expected sea conditions to change over the next four days, based on forecasts generated from numerical weather prediction models.
The ODPM report said coastal communities should pull (small) fishing vessels out the water, shift larger vessels to deep water anchorages, and close beaches to swimming or diving.
“Citizens in general, and those residing along coastal areas, are asked to be on on the alert of above normal sea conditions. All necessary measures must be taken to preserve life and property,” the report said.
However, the ODPM specified that it had not yet issued an actual rough seas bulletin.
The T&T Meteorological Society also issued a statement confirming the change in marine conditions expected this weekend.
The Surfing Association of Trinidad & Tobago (SATT) also posted a message on their Facebook page warning coastal communities of the dangerous ocean swell event expected to arrive Sunday.