NWS expects hazardous seas to persist in Marianas

Posted on Aug 13 2019


Even though Tropical Storm Krosa is still whirling away from the Marianas, its massive circulation, which extends 1,300 miles from southwest to northeast, coupled with winds of at least 20 knots would continue to generate large swells that will affect the region into the next weekend.

As of 1pm yesterday, the National Weather Service in Tiyan, Guam located Krosa 665 miles northwest of Agrihan, 700 miles northwest of Pagan, 725 miles northwest of Alamagan, and 850 miles northwest of Saipan. It has maximum sustained winds of 65mph and is moving west-northwest at 9mph.

Krosa will steadily move away from the Marianas and head toward Japan, but NWS said fresh to occasionally strong southwest to south winds remain across the Northern Islands and will be accompanied with stronger gusts of 30 to 35 mph as heavy showers pass over the islands.

Monsoon rain bands are beginning to lift farther north, but the Northern Islands will still see a few more waves of heavy rain and thunderstorms today, Tuesday, before drier weather returns.

NWS said rain rates of at least a half inch per hour in the heavier showers passing over Anatahan and up to 2 inches of rain is possible through today before winds and rain slowly subside. Large and hazardous waves will continue to affect the islands in the next several days, with the latest data showing that seas have decreased slightly to between 15 and 20 feet.

Residents on Alamagan, Pagan, and Agrihan are advised to monitor the situation closely and maintain necessary precautionary measures for possible gusty winds and heavy rain and to also stay informed on the latest statements or advisories.

High surf warning remains in effect throughout the Marianas and the broad monsoon winds south of Krosa will continue to generate dangerous surf along west- and north-facing reefs through tonight and hazardous surf through Friday night. This same swell will also produce a high risk of rip currents along all reefs except those facing east.

Dangerous surf of 13 to 17 feet will persist along west- and north-facing reefs through last night before gradually subsiding to hazardous levels of 11 to 14 feet this morning. Surf will slowly subside through the week, but remain hazardous through at least Friday.

Strong rip currents are also expected along north-, west-, and south-facing reefs through Friday night.

A high surf warning indicates that dangerous and battering waves will pound the shoreline. This will result in life-threatening conditions. The public is advised to avoid venturing out along west- and-north facing reefs and beaches. Large breaking waves can knock you down and cause serious injuries and strong rip currents will be life-threatening.

A small craft advisory also remains in effect through Tuesday night. NWS said combined seas of 11 to 14 feet will continue through last night before slowly subsiding today to between 10 and 12 feet. Seas will be slower to subside on Tinian and Saipan waters. The public and inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, are advised to avoid sailing in these conditions.

Keep in mind that even though the massive ocean swell is breaking on the edge of reefs, currents within bays and along beaches are much stronger than usual. Waves entering bays will still be large enough to catch folks off guard, especially small children.

The latest statements or advisories will be available through local media sources and NOAA weather radio broadcast on 162.5 megahertz, or call CNMI EOC State Warning Point at 237-8000 or 664-8000. The Northern Islands can contact CNMI EOC State Warning Point at high frequency single sideband radio on frequency 5.205.0. (Saipan Tribune)

Saipan Tribune

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