According to Meterologist /Climatologist for the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Service Climate Section Dale Destin, strong and gusty winds are forecast to move across most of the Caribbean this weekend – Friday through Sunday. He said these winds will make for hazardous conditions onshore and especially offshore. Some activities on land will become dangerous and marine conditions will be very hazardous for small craft operators. Destin stated that the high winds and seas may be reminiscent of the passage of a weak tropical storm, but they won’t be due to any such system. He added that 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. The Meteroligist reported that 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). He said 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. Possible impacts of the strong winds and hazardous seas include: injuries or loss of life; damage or loss of boats and fishing equipment; disruptions to marine recreation and businesses; disruptions to air and especially sea transportation; disruptions to outdoor sporting activities; disruptions of sea search and rescue; scarcity of sea food; vehicular accidents and economic losses. 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. 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.. Be very caution if you need to drive a high-profile vehicle, as strong winds could make for difficult, if not dangerous, driving of such automobile. According to Destin, this event 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.
HERE'S THE REST OF MONTSERRAT’S NATIONAL WEATHER FORECAST VALID UP TO 8 AM WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 19TH, 2018
SYNOPSIS: The Atlantic high pressure system is the dominant weather feature, inhibiting any significant shower activity over the next 24 hours. However, early tomorrow morning a weak low level trough will traverse the area and may give rise to brief shower interruptions. Nevertheless, low moisture levels coupled with a relatively stable atmosphere will keep showers to a minimum. WEATHER TODAY: Partly sunny to occasionally cloudy with a 30 percent or a low chance of showers mainly after midday. WEATHER TONIGHT: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent or a slight chance of showers. WINDS: East-southeast ranging between 15 to 28 km/h or 8 to 15 knots. SEAS: 1.2 to 1.8 metres or 4 to 6 feet. Small craft operators should continue to exercise caution, especially for those operating on the eastern side of the island. Sunset today: 5:41 pm. Sunrise tomorrow: 6:32 am.
Activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano remains low.
The seismic network recorded four volcano-tectonic earthquakes this week. Measurements of the SO2 flux were taken from the helicopter on 12 December. There were eight traverses with an average flux of 298 tonnes per day. Pyroclastic flows can occur at any time without warning on any side of the volcano, including Gages from where they can travel rapidly into Plymouth. Tracks across the Belham Valley can be destroyed or heavily modified by flash flooding or lahars, and caution should be exercised crossing the valley during and after rainfall. The Hazard Level is 1. There is no public access to Zone V, including Plymouth. Maritime Zones E and W are daytime transit only between sunrise and sunset (boats may sail through the zone but must not stop). Anyone who ignores these restrictions is liable to be prosecuted.
Don’t let the rush and excitement of the Christmas/Festival season make you careless. Let’s make this season especially cheerful by ensuring the protection of our loved ones and valuables. Make sure Christmas decorations are not only put up beautifully but safely as well. Take the time to consider safety hazards or potential vulnerabilities. Be more careful, prepared and aware during this season. Merry Christmas and a Bright and Prosperous 2019 from the Management and staff of the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA).