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Heavy Rainfall Forecast for USVI and Puerto Rico: NWS Issues Urgent Advisory

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The National Weather Service (NWS) situated in Puerto Rico has sounded the alarm for potential inclement weather patterns targeting the region early next week. Both locals and visitors in the US Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico are being alerted to brace for what appears to be an impending deluge.

According to the most recent insights from the National Hurricane Center coupled with the predictive analytics of the NWS, a series of thunderstorms accompanied by significant rainfall are on the horizon. The root cause of this imminent weather disturbance can be traced back to a powerful tropical wave, set to make its mark on the region between the start of the week and midweek.

St. Croix seems to be the prime focal point of this looming weather disturbance. Based on the projections from the NWS, the island could be drenched in approximately 3 to 4 inches of rainfall. It’s noteworthy to mention that the island’s western flank may be at the receiving end of even more aggressive rainfall. But it’s not just St. Croix; both St. Thomas and St. John are flagged for a potential downpour, hinting at a moisture-laden commencement to the week for the whole of USVI.

In its advisory, the NWS has placed an emphasis on the significance of staying informed. Their statement underscores the potential volatility of the situation, “Anticipate a period of unsettled weather with possible thunderstorms and heightened rainfall activity spanning from Monday to Wednesday. We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping an eye on regular weather bulletins throughout the weekend.”

As the clouds gather and the region readies itself for the impending showers, it’s paramount for everyone—residents and tourists alike—to stay vigilant. Regularly checking weather updates, prepping for any adverse conditions, and taking steps to safeguard personal and communal properties is the need of the hour. The key takeaway is to stay informed, stay prepared, and above all, stay safe.

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Rainfall and Flood Alerts Impact St. Croix Activities, Continuing Through Thursday

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On Wednesday, St. Croix experienced significant interruptions to its daily activities due to persistent rainfall, leading to the unusual quiet of rain-soaked streets replacing the usual hustle and bustle of school and work life.

The Department of Education took proactive measures by announcing the closure of schools throughout the territory early in the morning, following notifications to parents the previous evening about the potential disruption. They also advised students who commute between the islands of St. Thomas and St. John to avoid the ferry journey.

Legal proceedings on St. Croix faced adjustments as well, with the judiciary declaring an early closure for the Superior Court starting at noon, and subsequently, all court facilities on the island were shut down by 2:30 pm due to the relentless rainfall. Non-essential government employees were directed to head home at 2:00 pm, prioritizing safety amidst worsening conditions.

Social media platforms featured videos of cars navigating waterlogged roads, highlighting the challenges posed by overflowing gutters and gullies unable to cope with the heavy downpour.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan projected that the weather conditions causing the deluge on Wednesday would extend into Thursday. The NWS issued warnings for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, cautioning of “heavy showers and thunderstorms” that may persist. The aftermath of the weather system is expected to introduce “winds and pulses of a long-period northerly swell” affecting the region through the weekend, according to the NWS.

Mariangelis Marrero-Colón, an NWS PR Meteorologist, emphasized the ongoing risk of substantial rainfall across the islands until early Thursday. “The areas poised for the greatest impact include the southern, interior, and eastern regions of Puerto Rico, along with the entirety of the U.S. Virgin Islands,” she noted, pointing out concerns over urban and flash flooding, river surges, mudslides, and the possibility of strong winds accompanying severe showers and thunderstorms.

Rainfall estimates suggest accumulations could reach up to 3 inches across the affected areas, with a higher potential in specific locales. This situation has prompted the NWS to maintain a moderate flood risk advisory. Additionally, boating conditions are expected to be hazardous, with a small craft advisory in effect through the weekend and possibly extending into the following week.

Beachgoers are cautioned against dangerous swimming conditions, especially at beaches facing north, where life-threatening rip currents are expected to be a significant risk at least until Sunday.

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National Weather Service Announces Hazardous Weather Outlook for the US Virgin Islands

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The National Weather Service in San Juan has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the U.S. Virgin Islands, encompassing St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, and the surrounding nearshore Atlantic and Caribbean waters.

Inhabitants and visitors in the USVI are advised to brace for robust windy conditions throughout the day and into the evening. Outdoor objects are at risk of damage or may be swept away due to the prevailing strong winds.

Sea-farers are urged to proceed with caution as oceanic conditions are expected to intensify, with seas predicted to surge to heights of 8-10 feet. Wind velocities are anticipated to range from 15-25 knots, accompanied by gusts reaching up to 30 knots, posing significant risks to smaller vessels.

Additionally, there’s an elevated risk of perilous rip currents in most local beach surf zones. Beach enthusiasts are strongly advised to exercise utmost caution or consider refraining from water activities.

Forecast for Friday through Wednesday

The weather outlook extending into the next several days suggests that the breezy to windy conditions will persist, accompanied by a northerly swell. These elements are forecasted to maintain hazardous marine conditions for small craft, with sea levels expected to stay elevated at 8-10 feet. Beachgoers are particularly warned about life-threatening rip currents and breaking waves measuring 6-8 feet during the workweek.

While a gradual improvement in conditions is anticipated over the weekend, a high risk of rip currents will likely persist into Saturday. This risk is expected to decrease moderately from Sunday onwards into the early part of next week. Both residents and visitors are encouraged to keep abreast of the latest weather updates and to exercise caution during this period of hazardous weather conditions.

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Hazardous Marine Conditions Expected in USVI and Puerto Rico: Forecasts Predict Waves Up to 9 Feet

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The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are on alert for a period of hazardous marine conditions, as forecasted by the National Weather Service. This alert, issued on Sunday evening, is expected to persist throughout the workweek.

Triggered by northerly swells impacting the Atlantic waters and neighboring passages, the region is gearing up for challenging marine conditions. Boaters in these areas are advised to prepare for waves ranging from 5 to 7 feet, with potential surges reaching up to 9 feet. Wind conditions are also set to intensify, with speeds of 15-20 knots and gusts possibly hitting 30 knots. The National Weather Service has issued Small Craft Advisories for the Atlantic waters, including the Anegada and Mona Passages. By midweek, waves are anticipated to grow further, potentially reaching heights of 6-8 feet.

The heightened risk of life-threatening rip currents is a significant concern for beachgoers. With breaking waves expected to reach 6-9 feet and occasional higher breakers, the northern coasts of Puerto Rico, Culebra, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are particularly vulnerable. A High Rip Current Risk advisory is in effect for these areas, and the possibility of a High Surf Advisory being issued remains if conditions escalate.

The public is strongly encouraged to exercise caution near water bodies during this period. Boaters are advised to delay their sea outings until conditions stabilize, and swimmers should avoid beaches with a high risk of rip currents. Updates and further advisories will be issued by the National Weather Service as they continue to monitor the evolving situation.

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