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

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In its monitoring and forecast bulletin for the stranding of pelagic sargassum for the Northern Islands communicated on April 8, 2024, Météo France places the risk level at medium for the territories of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy.

The respite of February and March is well and truly over, the sargassum seaweed is arriving on our shores and the services of the Community as well as the service providers are mobilized. In terms of forecasts for the Antilles-Guyana zone, detections are, unsurprisingly, numerous. The large concentrations of sargassum are found a little more than 500km east of the West Indian arc, and from 250km north of Guyana. Between these spaces and our coasts, a few rafts travel in smaller quantities. Both in Guadeloupe and in Martinique, the currents change at the end of the week, and the rafts which were supposed to avoid us will have more chance of reaching us. The reinforcement of the trade winds in the middle of the week could counteract this modification of the currents, namely maintaining the drifts of the rafts as currently and sparing our shores. Météo France is planning a monitoring point this Thursday which will give rise to a new bulletin in the event of an increase in risk. More precisely on Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy thanks to satellite images from April 5 to 7, many small rafts and filaments of varying length are visible in the immediate vicinity of the sister island. Current arrivals will continue in a fairly repetitive manner to the South and East of this island until the end of this week. These same rafts and filaments are slowly approaching the east of Saint-Martin. Small, still occasional arrivals which began at the start of the week will become widespread across the entire coast and will become temporarily repetitive, also until the end of the week. Medium-term forecasts confirm the strandings of brown algae at risk of yellow given that the sargassum remained strangely offshore, more than 500km for significant concentrations. The 15-day dangerous zones for Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy contain algae but to a lesser extent. The risk of grounding therefore remains the same.

To be continued nonetheless… _VX

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