NWS advisories in effect for the Marianas; avoid hazardous seas

NWS warns of hazardous seas and surf this week as trade-wind waves/swell merge with a long-period north swell (generated by a large hurricane-force low east of Japan). The biggest concern will be along north and east facing reefs. (Photo courtesy NWS)

The National Weather Service in Tiyan has issued the following advisories that remain in effect:

A high risk of rip currents is in effect for Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan through Friday afternoon. Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore. Dangerous rip currents are expected along east facing reefs and on some beaches such as Ritidian, the high risk of rip currents could extend to north-facing reefs by Tuesday.

Rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away into deeper water. Stay out of the water. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Do not swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help. Rip currents are life-threatening.

A small craft advisory remains in effect for the coastal waters of Guam, Rota, Tinian, and Saipan until 6 p.m. Friday. East to northeast winds of 15 to 25 knots with occasional gusts to 30 knots and combined seas of 8 to 10 feet will build to between 10 and 12 feet by tonight, producing hazardous conditions to small craft. Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid boating in these conditions.

The Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) remind the community to avoid hazardous seas until conditions subside. Heed the advice of lifeguards, beach patrol flags, and signs.