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

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

Little change since the last report which confirms the lull in groundings, as evidenced by the forecasts for the next four days: analyzes of satellite images from January 4 to 7 show few detections in the first thousand kilometers to the east of the West Indian arc for the Antilles-Guyana zone. Apart from a few fairly scattered filaments east of Tobago and Barbados caught in an easterly flow, little or no detection off the coast of Guyana. The risk of sargassum stranding also remains low for the territories of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy. On the same satellite images, a strong presence of dust makes the analysis of the detections particularly delicate. However, a few isolated rafts are visible to the east of the Northern Islands. Caught in an east to northeast flow, the latter remain a weak threat to the two islands.

Very occasional arrivals on shores exposed to the flow remain possible during this week. Same observation regarding the trend for the next two weeks, low risk of grounding. The threat over the next fortnight is limited: the few detections around Barbados are caught in a dominant easterly sector flow which evacuates towards the Grenadines and the Caribbean Sea while remaining south of Saint Lucia. But it remains possible that a few isolated rafts or filaments could reach our islands via the Antilles Current. Météo France therefore maintains the current closure of the season. The numerous sargassum rafts detected to the east of the West Indian arc a little more than 1000 kilometers away should concern Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy in about two months, February being the month of start of the stranding season on our beaches. _VX

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