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
High
  • You may need to take action as we are expecting...
  • There will be...
Medium
  • We should be prepared for
  • There is likely to be...
Low
  • Be aware of the possibility...
  • There is the chance of...

The basic messages associated with each of the colours are:

Guides to Colour Codes
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.

Warning Level Low Medium High
Impact and advice applying to ALL SEVERE WEATHER
  • Be Aware and ensure you access the latest weather forecast for up to date weather information
  • Expect some delays due to slower traffic, temporarily flooded roadways. Very few cases of flooding, landslides or rock falls. Be vigilant and exercise caution. Outdoor events may be disrupted or cancelled
  • Be Prepared. Take precautions where possible, be vigilant and ensure you access the latest weather forecast
  • Be Prepared for some disruption to normal daily routines. Travel only if necessary and well prepared and Be Prepared for longer journey times
  • Take precautionary Action and remain extra vigilant. Follow orders and any advice given by authorities under all circumstances. Ensure you access the latest weather forecast
  • Expect significant disruption to normal daily routines due to a high risk of flooding, landslides and falling rocks. Avoid all non-essential journeys. If you must make a journey carry emergency food, clothing, water, blanket etc.
Impact and advice associated with RAIN
  • Localised flash flooding and flooding of low lying areas, overflowing of drains and blocked or silted rivers, flooding of a small number of homes and businesses. Possibility of water accumulating on road surfaces, especially in known trouble spots. Increase possibility of landslides and falling rocks
  • Local disruption to travel and longer journey times
  • Drive carefully on wet roads and according to the road conditions encountered
  • Some flooding of homes, businesses, some overflowing of drains and rivers overflow their banks, accumulated water on roads. Landslide and falling rocks likely
  • Disruption to travel likely. Avoid where possible long distance travel
  • Disruption to electricity, water supplies and telecoms
  • Some evacuations may be required. Be prepared to protect yourself and your property
  • Widespread flooding of property. Several rivers overflow their banks, several instances of landslides and/or falling rocks. Severe disruption to travel mainly due to flooded or blocked roads (landslides, falling rocks). Loss of electricity, water supplies. Significant disruption to communities
  • Evacuation expected
  • Significant risk to life
  • Take action to protect yourself and follow the advice of the emergency services
Impact and advice associated with WIND
  • Few branches or trees brought down. Material dislodged from poorly constructed or compromised structures
  • Localised travel disruption
  • Localised problems for high-sided vehicles on prone routes. Drive with care, especially on exposed routes. Be Aware of possible debris being blown around
  • Several trees downed, material dislodged from roofs etc. Minor structural damage possible
  • Risk of injury from flying debris
  • Be Prepared for some travel disruption e.g. blocked roads by fallen trees. Potential for some localised interruptions to power
  • Widespread structural damage, e.g. roofs blown off, poorly constructed homes overturned or removed from foundation, power lines brought down
  • Risk to personal safety from flying debris
  • Potentially widespread and/or prolonged interruptions to power and water supply
  • Expect widespread transport disruption due to e.g. roads blocked by fallen trees

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

Marine Warnings

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.