Sargassum forecast: medium risk for Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy


In its monitoring and forecast bulletin for the stranding of pelagic sargassum for the Northern Islands communicated on April 15, 2024, Météo France places the risk level at medium for the territories of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy.

Many people have noticed the greater presence of sargassum in our waters and on our coasts. The analysis carried out by Météo France based on satellite images from April 13 and 14 over the Antilles/Guyana area unfortunately does not bode well: the basin is still heavily loaded with sargassum, more than 500km east of the West Indian arc, large filaments head towards the west. A little closer, to the east and north-east of Barbados, around 300km from the coasts of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, two other areas dense in sargassum are carried away by an unstable current, making their movement uncertain. Finally, large rafts are present to the east of Trinidad, soon carried by the southerly current towards the Antilles. Despite the difficult detections linked to mass clouds, the analysis for Saint-Martin and the sister island shows several Sargassum filaments and rafts present to the east of two French islands. In a dominant south-east to east flow, they are the source of more or less small, sometimes repetitive arrivals on the exposed coastline of the two islands. The groundings will therefore continue given the presence of sargassum in areas that could threaten the West Indian coasts within 15 days. The movement of the numerous filaments carried in gyres nevertheless remains erratic and difficult for experts to anticipate. But one thing is certain: the sargassum season is well and truly here and the services of the Community as well as the service providers responsible for collection and cleaning are mobilized. _VX

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