The Dominica Meteorological Service aims to warn the public and emergency services of severe weather which has the potential to cause damage, widespread disruption and danger to life through the provision of a Severe Weather Warning Service. This includes warnings of impending severe weather associated with tropical cyclones, strong tropical waves, active trough systems, flood watches and warnings, strong winds and cooler or warmer than usual temperatures.
These warnings are given a colour depending on a combination of both the likelihood of the event happening and the impact the conditions may have.
The basic message associated with each warning level is:
|Degree of Certainty
The basic messages associated with each of the colours are:
Guides to Colour Codes
What the Colours Mean
- Green: No severe weather. Rainfall activity, possible isolated thunderstorms and breezy conditions may occur. However, such weather activity is not anticipated to cause major or prolonged disruptions. There is the possibility of isolated cases of temporary flooding or ponded water due to blocked drains or waterways and falling rocks in vulnerable or compromised areas. The public is however encouraged to continue to listen to the forecast during periods when the country has not been placed under severe weather alert. This will assist in gaining information on when conditions are likely to change or deteriorate
- Yellow: Be aware. Severe weather is possible over the specified forecast period and could affect you. Yellow means that you should plan ahead. Think about possible travel delays, or the disruption of your day to day activities. The Met Service is monitoring the developing weather situation and Yellow means keep informed on the latest forecast and be aware that the weather may change or worsen, leading to disruption of your plans in the next few days. There is the possibility of a few cases of flooding, landslides and falling rocks in vulnerable or compromised areas due to prolonged or heavy rainfall and gusty or strong winds
Mariners and other users of the sea: will experience rough sea conditions due to strong winds (25kts / 46km/h or higher), gusty winds in areas of showers and thunderstorms and due to swells. Exercise extreme caution. Sea bathers stay out of the water
- Amber: Be prepared. There is an increased likelihood of bad weather affecting you, which could potentially disrupt your plans and likely to cause travel delays, road closures, interruption to power and water supply and the potential risk to life and property. Continue to keep informed on latest forecast. Amber means you need to be prepared to change your plans and protect you, your family and community from the impacts of the severe weather based on the forecast from the Met Service. There is the likelihood of several incidences of flooding, landslides and rocks falls in vulnerable or compromised areas due to prolonged or heavy rainfall
Mariners and other users of the sea: will experience rough sea conditions due to strong winds (25kts / 46km/h or higher), gusty winds in areas of showers and thunderstorms and due to swells. Exercise extreme caution. Small craft operators and sea bathers stay out of the water
- Red: Take action. Extreme weather is expected. Red means you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of the weather and to protect life and property. Continue to keep informed on the latest forecast. Widespread damage, flooding, landslides and rock falls, travel and power disruption and risk to life are likely. You must avoid dangerous areas and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities
Mariners and other users of the sea: will experience rough sea conditions due to strong winds up to tropical storm strength (34kts / 63km/h or higher), gusty winds in areas of showers and thunderstorms and due to swells. Exercise extreme caution. All users of the sea should stay out of the water. All must return to port or do not venture out of port
Know What to Expect and What Action to Take
The table below provides examples of the kind of disruption that might be experienced for each impact level (low, medium, high) and for each weather type (rain, wind, sea conditions). It also provides some general advice to try and mitigate the impacts.
|Impact and advice applying to ALL SEVERE WEATHER
|Impact and advice associated with RAIN
|Impact and advice associated with WIND
General Precautionary Measures
- During flood events do not attempt to cross flooded road or waterways. TURN AROUND DO NOT DROWN. Be very cautious if you must use bridges
- If you live along river banks be vigilant as overflow could occur due to upstream rainfall
- Always be cautious when traversing (or avoid where possible) areas prone to landslides and falling rocks (especially mountainous and hilly areas). Be on the lookout. Move quickly but safely
- Know where the shelter for your community is located and the safest route to get to the shelter
- During thunderstorms limit outdoor activities as much as is possible. Do not shelter under trees
- During incidents of high wind be mindful of flying debrie. Be cautious if outdoor activities cannot be avoided. Re-enforce compromise areas of homes
A small-craft Warning means that winds-speeds of 25 knots (28mph) or higher and/or seas of 3m (10ft) or greater are forecast to affect the marine area.
A High-Surf Advisory is issued when breaking wave action poses a threat to life and property within the surf zone.
When a Small Craft Warning and or High-Surf Advisory is Issued
- Small craft operators, where possible, should proceed with extreme caution in performing daily activities
- Sea bathers should stay out of the water
- Persons living along the coast (particularly low-lying areas) should be on the lookout for possible flooding from sea-water intrusion. Be prepared to evacuate if necessary
When the island is under threat from a tropical cyclone (already formed or close to formation) all users of the sea must stay in port or return to port. Do not venture out of port within 48 hours of the system affecting the waters of Dominica.