Eastern Caribbean residents have been told to brace for the impact of rough seas this week, as major sea swells are forecast to affect the region.
Antigua-based weather forecaster Dale Destin said the swells coming out of the north are likely to exceed 8 feet, occasionally exceeding 10 feet in height.
According to Destin, these conditions will result in dangerous surf for beachgoers, hence the requirement for advisories and warnings.
Residents could begin to see the effect of the sea swells by today, Wednesday. The swells in and of themselves are not the real concern, according to Destin.
The greater concern, he said, are the large breaking swells or high surf that will be caused when they reach shorelines across the region.
Over long periods, Destin explained, the swells can result in surf heights of up to 20 feet.
“The eventual height of the surf is largely dependent on the shape and depth of the near-shore coastal areas they interact with,” he said.
The greatest impact will be on beaches and shoreline facing north, according to Destin.
Such high surf has the potential to cause injuries or loss of life, beach closures, and financial losses.
According to the veteran meteorologist, other impacts could include disruption to potable water from desalination facilities, saltwater intrusion, flooding of low-lying coastal roads, and beach erosion.