Sargassum forecast: Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy at low risk


In its monitoring and forecast bulletin for the stranding of pelagic sargassum for the Northern Islands communicated on February 19, 2024, Météo France maintains the risk level at low for the territories of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy.

The images from February 17 to 18 over the Antilles-Guyana area were analyzed: small filaments or clusters are clearly visible in the first 20 to 100 kilometers east of the Barbados islands in the south up to Antigua in the north, still sparing the Northern Islands in this month of February which nevertheless marks the start of the sargassum stranding season. The filaments are more or less scattered, a little heavier east of Barbados, Martinique and Dominica for the moment. Further east, detections are quite numerous in the approximately 300 kilometers east of the West Indian arc. The presence of sargassum is much more significant further east on the Atlantic (mainly north of a Saint Vincent and the Grenadines/Barbados axis). To the south and east of Barbados, detections are few, almost as far as the coast of Guyana. Beyond (southern Barbados/eastern Guyana), the concentration of sargassum increases significantly. The analysis of images near Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy is very positive. Satellite detection only identifies very rare rafts scattered here and there. Green flag everywhere, and so much the better! The respite will however be short-lived, the trend for the next two weeks indicates larger arrivals of sargassum.

The groundings will increase, in episodes, a little more during this period... suggesting the start of the season for Guadeloupe and Martinique. Within the next two months, the sargassum detected more than 300 km east of the Antilles as stipulated above should concern the Antilles arc according to forecasts. The presence of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), and the numerous clouds over the maritime area of ​​Guyana make forecasting very difficult at this time in this area.

However, the configuration of the coasts and the strong currents still minimize the risk. To be continued… _VX

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