Windy Weekend Expected to Bring Hazardous Conditions

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Dale Destin

Thursday 27th December, 2018-Climatologist Dale Destin is forecasting strong and gusty winds will move across most of the Caribbean this weekend – Friday through Sunday. These winds will make for hazardous conditions onshore and especially offshore.

Destin writing on his blog says some activities on land will become dangerous and marine conditions will be very hazardous for small craft operators.

The high winds and seas may be reminiscent of the passage of a weak tropical storm he noted, but they won’t be due to any such system. The elevated winds will be the result of a very steep pressure gradient, due to the strength and location of the centre of a high-pressure system. The pressure gradient – the horizontal change of pressure, will be around 25% higher than normal.

Very hazardous seas in excess of 2.5 metres and rising to 3.5 metres (9 to 12 feet) will take place Friday through Sunday across the northeast Caribbean. Winds and seas will start building on Thursday – peaking on Saturday. Seas will occasionally reach 4.5 metres (15 feet).

These hazardous conditions will peak about a day earlier across the western Caribbean (including the Bahamas) and a day later across the southern Caribbean.

The winds will range between 34 and 45 km/h (21 and 32 mph) across the northeast Caribbean Friday through Sunday. Gusts to gale-force i.e. 64 km/h (40 mph) are expected. These kinds of winds very unusual for the region outside of being associated with a tropical cyclone (hurricane, tropical storm or tropical depression). The wind will generally blow from the east.

The worst affected area is likely to be the northern Caribbean – including the Leeward Islands and areas further west. Marine warnings are expected to be issued by most islands. Winds will be strongest over open waters, elevated terrains and windward coastal areas – eastern coastal areas.

He is cautioning that small craft operators and even some not so small crafts operators should stay in or very near port this weekend. Work at high and exposed evaluations should be avoided. Some outdoor activities may need to be postponed or adjusted for the conditions. Secure or take indoors light and loose objects – patio furniture, trash can etc.

The event Destin said is not related to a tropical cyclone; nonetheless, some measures need to be put in place to mitigate the potential impacts – especially those related to the marine environment.

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