Hazardous Seas Alert (Yellow Level) in effect until Valentine’s Day

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Hazardous Seas Alert (Yellow Level) in effect until Valentine’s Day

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) is advising the public to exercise caution when visiting beaches along the north coast this Carnival weekend.

The TTMS says northerly long-period swells are expected to affect coastlines of Trinidad and Tobago, particularly northern and northeastern exposed coastal areas of both islands, and to a lesser extent the north-facing shoreline in the Gulf of Paria.

As a result, the TTMS has issued a Hazardous Seas Alert (Yellow Level) on Friday at 2:06 p.m. but goes into effect for the country from 2:00 a.m. Sunday, February 11th, 2024 and remains in effect until 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 14th, 2024.

The TTMS warns that: “These swells can result in battering waves at coastal regions and can be exacerbated during high tides. Nearshore activities (fishing, sea bathing, mooring of boats etc.) can be adversely affected.”

Waves in open waters are forecast to remain between 1.5 and 2.5 metres, occasionally reaching up to 3.0 metres from Monday. In sheltered areas, waves are forecast to be between 1.0 and 1.5 metres and occasionally choppy.

The current yellow-level alert indicates that hazardous seas are likely, but the severity of impacts is moderate.

With spring tides also ongoing through February 12th, there is an increased risk of strong rip currents, which can pose a serious hazard to swimmers and beachgoers. Rip currents can be life-threatening even for experienced swimmers. Agitated seas will likely be particularly perilous for offshore activities, including fishing and other small craft marine interests. Due to spring tides, conditions at seawalls along affected coastlines can be exacerbated, especially at high tide.

For a moderate, yellow-level Hazardous Seas Alert, there is the potential for possible injuries, where behavioural changes are required to ensure safety. There may be minor property damage, with income-earning temporarily disrupted, and some communities are affected.

The TTMS advises all marine interests to exercise extreme caution along the affected areas and avoid marine activities. Beachgoers are urged to heed the instructions of lifeguards and those in authority.