Northeast Caribbean to be affected by cold front causing inclement weather

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The Northeast Caribbean regions, specifically the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands are expecting inclement weather on Wednesday and Thursday, caused by a cold front.

The Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services issued a Hydrologic Outlook on Tuesday, which warned the region of these development.

The report suggests that there is a 10% chance that the levels of rainfall in the region will exceed 100 mm or 4 inches in the 24 hours that the forecast pertains to. The report also goes on to state that according to the indications from most of the models that have been considered, it is expected that more than 50 mm or 2 inches of rainfall will be seen in the region.

The report has also warned that flash flooding is a distinct possibility, especially in areas which have been recognized to be prone to flash floods, due to the expected intensity of rainfall, coupled with the duration for which the conditions are likely to persist.

Despite the validity of this assessment, authorities have stated that the extent to which the cold front will form is unclear, which, when paired with the atmospheric conditions, makes it close to impossible to accurately predict the exact magnitude of the flooding expected.

The MET Services have also clarified that the hydrologic outlook is an overarching assessment and not an exact forecast. Thus, if the levels of precipitation are significantly high, the flooding can be made worse and have a larger impact on the region than is expected.

This development has prompted multiple islands in the region to issue warnings to the public, so as to prepare them for the possibility of severe weather conditions. This comes of the back of the hydrologic outlook, which is typically issued 36 to 72 hours prior to when an event is expected.

The British Virgin Islands for example, have issued a weather alert through the Department of Disaster Management, stating that weather conditions are expected to worsen progressively as the frontal trough of the weather system gets nearer.

The alert also says that showers and thunderstorms are expected to persist in the afternoon and into the night, with the levels of rainfall expected to be between 2 to 4 inches. There is a potential for urban flooding, flash floods and hazardous marine conditions, especially for smaller vessels.

The Blowing Point ferry terminal in Anguilla has also ceased operations citing inclement weather. It has been stated by the Anguilla Air and Sea Port Authority that as of now, vessels are having trouble docking and warned that the conditions are expected to worsen with time.

The public has been asked to use the carriers that service the Clayton J Lloyd International Airport, as an alternative travel arrangement if necessary.

The Meteorological Department in St Maarten has issued a small craft advisory which is applicable until further notice as the weather forecast warns of increased moisture and unstable weather conditions as the cold front continues to approach the region. The public should expect cloudy skies, high intensity winds, difficult conditions at sea and isolated showers.

The advisory goes on to state that hazardous sea conditions are likely to persist through the rest of the week.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of St Kitts and Nevis has stated that a trough system is expected to enter the area on Wednesday and persist through Thursday, in a public announcement.

It has also warned citizens that said system will cause unstable weather, with cloudy skies and increasingly intense showers expected. The level rainfall is expected to range between moderate and heavy, as the trough passes through the region, with more than 2 inches of rain imminent, according to conservative estimates.

Similarly, the Meteorological Services in Antigua and Barbuda have issued a high surf warning to Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. The warning could possibly be extended into the weekend as well, depending on how weather conditions develop.

It has also been stated that moderate-long period swells are likely to impact the region and cause hazardous conditions, specifically along the northern coast line, which will give rise to life threatening surfs and rip currents along the north facing coastlines.

The high surf advisory states that surfs ranging from 2 to 3 meters or 6 to 10 feet will be seen along the affected coastlines, thus producing extremely hazardous conditions.

The Public Works Department in British Virgin Islands has taken up the task of activating the nation’s Emergency Response Team, which has been asked to inspect waterways, in an attempt to mitigate the effects of the coming weather conditions in a proactive manner.

Kye M. Rymer, the Minister of Communications and Works, took this step, in response to a weather alert issued by the Department of Disaster Management.

Rymer stated the following, “Our diligent response in the aftermath of thunderstorm Phillipe still shows our waterways in satisfactory condition and we are urging residents to take steps to protect themselves and their property.”

Jeremy Hodge, the Director of the Public Works Department has said that an Emergency Response Team has been assigned to each district.

In a statement regarding the matter, Hodge said the following, “They are responsible for monitoring the performance of the waterways and making recommendations where needed in the event of excessive rains. We will also be out and about safely, to respond in the aftermath of this pending weather.”

He went on to add that, “We cannot predict the exact impact of the weather system, but we must be prepared for the worst. Please contact us in the event of boulders or debris that pose hazardous at 468-9261 or 468-5906.”

The Ministry of Communications and Works has also reiterated that it is looking to continue its efforts to maintain and enhance public infrastructure and ensure that it meets international standards, with the overarching aim of offering affordable and viable public utility services which can improve the quality of life of every resident of the Virgin Islands, as well as the many visitors that come to the nation’s shores.

Ana Allen
Ana Allenhttp://writeups24.com
Anna Allen, news writer at Writeups24, is a Harvard graduate with a passion for journalism. With her keen eye for detail and insatiable curiosity, she captures the essence of global stories. Anna's writing informs and delves into cultural nuances. To reach Anna, you can email contact@writeups24.com

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