A high wind advisory is currently in effect for Antigua and Barbuda due to “strong gusty winds, associated with a very steep pressure gradient”, according to the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services.
On Friday, Deputy Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services, Lorne Salmon told OBSERVER media that the advisory which suggests winds of 40 to 48 km/h (25 to 31 mph, 22 to 27 knots) is expected to be in effect until around Tuesday.
“What we are essentially looking at is a very tight pressure gradient which is present across the entire Northeast Caribbean and this tight pressure gradient is driving some rather fresh to strong winds across the North Eastern Caribbean,” Salmon explained.
“And we have been having these winds for the past 24 hours or so and these winds will continue for at least the next two to three days which means that a high wind advisory will remain in effect for Antigua and Barbuda.”
Salmon is therefore advising residents “to secure small objects, outside objects that could be easily carried away by winds between 18 and 30 knots”.
In addition, he said that a small craft warning is in effect for the waters of Antigua and Barbuda, the rest of the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands because “the winds are also creating some hazardous sea conditions”.
“We are looking at wind-driven waves, at times exceeding 10 feet in open waters and so there is a small craft warning which is in effect and a small craft warning is simply indicating to small craft operators that they should stay in port,” the meteorologist added.
Salmon further stated that although beaches are currently safe for bathers, that is expected to change later this weekend.
“At this point in time, it is relatively safe for sea bathers but conditions could become a little bit more dangerous more towards Sunday and Monday simply because around that time we are expecting some possibly five-foot swells that could reach our shores and these could create some high surfs. So, by that time it is likely that a high surf advisory could be in effect and we are just encouraging individuals for that time, particularly sea bathers, to stay away as much as possible from the beaches,” Salmon said.
According to the Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services, the maximum winds that affected the mainland, Antigua, as noted earlier yesterday, were recorded at around 33 mph at the V C Bird International Airport, while parts of Barbuda had had 38 mph winds recorded at the Hanna Thomas Hospital.