Dale C. S. Destin |
Those heading to the beaches in Antigua and Barbuda should be wary of the threat of strong rip currents Easter Monday through Wednesday.
Beaches on the northern and eastern sides of the islands will be at greatest risk for stronger and more frequent rip currents through midweek, due to large swells. Seas are on the rise and will peak on Tuesday with a combination of wind waves and swells nearing 3.0 metres (10 ft) occasionally reaching 3.8 metres (13 ft).
A huge low pressure system near the centre of the North Atlantic is pushing large swells to the region. Meanwhile, the winds in the area are on the increase, which will cause a rise in the wind waves.
Rip currents are not new to our shores. They are always present in situations like this and are characterised by water flowing away from the shore. The strength of the current is usually proportional the height of the swells.
Vacationers and residents should take precautions while at the beach. It would be prudent to seek out only beaches under the watch of lifeguards, if possible, and heed all warnings issued. The west facing beasches should be least affected.
Should you ever get caught in a rip current, never attempt to swim directly back to shore as you will be swimming against the current. Instead, swim parallel to the beach to escape the current’s grip before swimming ashore.
Small craft should use caution and heed all advisories, as seas will also be rough.
Similar sea conditions are forecast for most of the rest of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the eastern parts of the Bahamas, the Winward Islands and Barbados. The swells will also eventually reach Trinidad and Tobago and the Guyanas late Tuesday.
It is also likely to be a somewhat wet Easter Monday as the same low pressure system mentioned above is pulling a lot of moisture across the islands. The range of the possible rainfall total is wide – 0 to 12 mm (0 to 0.48 in).
The increasing wind will peak late Easter Monday at around 16 knots (18 mph) over open waters and 13 knots (15 mph) over land. Frequent higher gusts will take place.
Seas will return to near normal levels on Thursday.