The Center for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BBMKG) Region III Denpasar has issued weather warnings to beachgoers for the 26th-29th of August. The BBMKG has announced that high waves can be expected across Southern Bali. While there will be fluctuations between 2.5-4 meter waves, beachgoers are being advised to be vigilant as to changing conditions.
The weekend of the 27th-28th of August is also a new moon which, much like on a full moon, can cause changes to the tides; typically higher tides and stronger waves. The BBMKG is advising the public to be vigilant and to take extra caution, even postpone maritime tourism activities if the conditions look unfavourable. The same warnings are being issued to local communities who carry out fishing and seaweed farming; proceed with care and act sensibly.
A forecaster of the BBMKG Center for Region III Denpasar, Made Sudarma, told local reporters that the next few days may be turbulent along the southern coast of Bali. He said that his teams have been monitoring waves and using wave analysis to create the weekend’s forecast.
He said that high waves can be confidently predicted over the coming days with moments of moderate wave activity. Moderate wave activity is generally defined as waves around 2.5 meters while high wave activity is used to describe waves of over 3.5 meters.
Sudarma told reporters that following some sporadic high waves on the 25th of August that there will be a steady increase in wave activity leading into the weekend. He said ‘On the 27th and 28th, it [will] decrease to 2.5 meters and then on the 29th it [will rise] again to a maximum of 4 meters. Because the warning is given when there is a wave of 2 meters and above, so we are still issuing warnings’.
He confirmed that the increased wave activity and severity are nothing to be concerned about and is normal at this time of year. He explained to reporters that this natural cycle starts in July and runs through August and September as the wind speed and speed persistence whip over the ocean.
It is not only Bali that will experience higher than usual waves, but areas across the Southern Bali Strait and the Badung Strait, including Southern Lombok, the Gili Islands, Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. Early on Friday morning, the wind speeds off southern Bali were averaging 15-20 knots.
Sudarma explained the weather pattern in more detail ‘Currently the Australian monsoon pressure is active, so now the condition is [caused by] the east wind. This significant difference in wind pressure in the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere is a factor in increasing winds. Now in the north, it reaches 1006-1010 hPa, while in the south it has reached 1026 hPa’. The term hPa stands for Hectopascal Pressure Unit and is the standard unit for measuring atmospheric or barometric pressure.
As always, disaster management and search and rescue teams are on standby should communities across Bali need assistance. Though they are on standby it is not anticipated that they will be deployed over the weekend. The high wave warnings are not connected to Monday’s earthquake.
On Monday 22nd August southern Bali was rocked by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. The Center for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics confirmed that there was no tsunami warning and no aftershocks.
The earthquake was the strongest felt in Bali for months. While there were no injuries or deaths reported, there was damage caused to some local family homes. One family in Kuta shared the footage online of the roof of their kitchen having fallen in.
Some tourists were frightened and disorientated in the wake of the earthquake, having never experienced a tremor like that before. While others say they didn’t feel a thing. Locals working in government offices in Denpasar told reporters on Monday evening that as soon as they felt the tremor begin that they ran outside into the car park to be safe in an open area.
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