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USVI and Puerto Rico Brace for Heavy Rains and Rough Seas



The National Weather Service (NWS) station based in San Juan delivered an urgent update at 11:00 AM AST on Thursday, detailing anticipated severe marine and rainfall conditions for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Weather forecasts spotlight a surge of tropical moisture, propelled by favorable upper-level atmospheric dynamics, set to trigger showers and thunderstorms across the islands starting Friday and extending into early next week. These intensified tropical conditions are raising concerns over potential flooding in both territories, with officials suggesting a flash flood watch might be declared by tomorrow.

Meteorological data points to an approaching surface trough from the east, merging with moisture trails from the now-dissipated Tropical Cyclone Tammy situated well north. Concurrently, an evolving low-pressure system near Colombia’s coast is expected to veer northeastward, channeling substantial moisture over the islands. This meteorological interplay is predicted to bring about heavy downpours commencing late Friday, with the situation worsening over the weekend.


In the span from the upcoming Wednesday to Friday, the atmospheric saturation is predicted to remain elevated, enhancing the hazardous weather threat over Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Projected cumulative rainfall could exceed 10-12 inches in southeast and eastern regions of Puerto Rico, while the U.S. Virgin Islands might see over 7 inches of rain by Wednesday.

Potential Risks and Impacts

Intensified Rainfall: Rainfall estimates from the present time until early Tuesday range between 3 to 8 inches. The wet spell may linger from Wednesday to Friday.

Where and When: Daily rainfall is forecasted across most areas, with the southeast, interior, and eastern sectors of Puerto Rico expected to endure the heaviest showers. Intense downpours are likely post-noon on Friday, prolonging through the weekend. Regions could see daily rain accumulations of 2 to 3 inches, predominantly between Saturday night and Sunday.

Implications: The deluge may cause widespread water accumulation, urban flooding, and roadway and stream overflows. There’s a heightened risk of life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, particularly in southern to eastern Puerto Rico, with several rivers potentially overflowing.

Marine Unrest: The Atlantic waters off these islands might experience turbulent seas, with waves ranging from 7-10 feet. Wind speeds could escalate to 15 to 20 knots, and gusts may reach up to 30 knots. Small Craft and High Surf Advisories will be in effect for these regions.

Additional Weather-Induced Hazards: Thunderstorms and Wind Gusts: The islands may witness isolated to scattered thunderstorms, featuring frequent lightning and robust wind gusts.
Rip Currents and High Surf: Except for the southern coastal stretches, most areas are facing high rip current risks until Sunday. High surf conditions, with waves breaking at 10 feet or above, are anticipated along some northern coastal belts from Friday through the weekend, with several locales already reporting such wave heights.


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Saharan Dust Plume to Affect USVI and Puerto Rico



Starting Friday, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will experience a significant plume of Saharan Dust, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan. This Moderate to Severe event is projected to continue through at least Sunday morning, posing several environmental and health challenges.

The dust, originating from the Sahara and Sahel deserts and transported across the Atlantic Ocean, will result in hazy skies and reduced visibility. The particles contain minerals, organic matter, marine salts, viruses, and bacteria. While beneficial as a natural fertilizer for ecosystems, the dust can pose serious health risks.

Individuals with preexisting health conditions, particularly those who are immunocompromised or part of vulnerable groups, may experience exacerbated symptoms. The Department of Health has noted an uptick in respiratory issues during such events. Exposure to Saharan Dust may lead to:

  • Nose irritation
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies
  • Asthma exacerbation
  • Throat irritation
  • Eye and skin irritation
  • Acute bronchitis
  • Increased risk of respiratory infection

To mitigate these effects, residents are advised to keep medications handy, stay hydrated, wear light clothing, limit outdoor activities, and use face masks and eyeglasses.

The Virgin Islands Department of Health (DOH) has issued guidance to help residents manage the impacts of the dust. They emphasize preventive measures and advise seeking medical attention if severe symptoms occur.

The NWS will continue to monitor the situation and provide necessary updates.

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Hurricane Beryl Leaves Destruction and Death; Jamaica Under Hurricane Warning; Coastal Flood Advisory for St. Croix



Hurricane Beryl has unleashed widespread destruction and claimed at least one life in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, according to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. Union Island, part of the Grenadines, experienced significant devastation with 90 percent of homes damaged, many losing roofs or being completely destroyed. Carriacou in Grenada also suffered extensive damage, with drone footage revealing numerous homes with destroyed roofs. Although Barbados was impacted, it did not receive a direct hit from the storm.

Current Warnings

Hurricane Warning:

  • Jamaica

Tropical Storm Warning:

  • South coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque to the Haitian border
  • South coast of Haiti from the Dominican Republic border to Anse d’Hainault

A Hurricane Warning signifies that hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours, while a Tropical Storm Warning indicates tropical storm conditions are expected within the same timeframe.

Monitoring Beryl

Residents in the Cayman Islands and the northwestern Caribbean should closely monitor Beryl, as additional watches or warnings may be issued. Despite Beryl’s severe impact in the central Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are expected to experience increased showers and gusty winds on Tuesday, with potential strong wind gusts accompanying the rain. Following Beryl, Saharan dust is forecasted to move in on Wednesday, followed by another tropical wave on Thursday with a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone.

Coastal Conditions

The main impact on the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will be deteriorating marine and coastal conditions. A Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. AST on Tuesday for St. Croix, Vieques, and the southern coast of Puerto Rico due to waves up to 17 feet. Seas are expected to reach 8 to 15 feet as the system passes to the south on Tuesday.

Hurricane Beryl’s Current Status

As of 2:00 a.m. AST, Hurricane Beryl was located near latitude 14.2 North, longitude 65.8 West, moving west-northwest at 22 mph. The NOAA Hurricane Hunters reported maximum sustained winds of 165 mph, classifying Beryl as a Category 5 hurricane. Although fluctuations in strength are likely, Beryl is expected to remain a major hurricane as it approaches Jamaica on Wednesday, with weakening expected thereafter.

Expected Impact on Jamaica and Hispaniola

Hurricane conditions are anticipated in Jamaica by Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions expected along the south coast of Hispaniola later today.

Storm Surge:
Storm surge could raise water levels by 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels along Jamaica’s coast and by 1 to 3 feet along Hispaniola’s southern coast.

Beryl is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain, with localized maxima of 12 inches in Jamaica on Wednesday, potentially causing flash flooding. Rainfall from Beryl’s outer bands may impact Hispaniola with 2 to 6 inches of rain possible.

Large swells generated by Beryl will continue across the Windward and southern Leeward Islands over the next few days, reaching the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola later today. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Additional Weather Systems

An area of low pressure about 1,000 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands is generating disorganized showers and thunderstorms. While environmental conditions are only marginally conducive for development, heavy rainfall is possible midweek in the Lesser Antilles.

  • Formation chance through 48 hours: Low (20 percent)
  • Formation chance through 7 days: Low (30 percent)
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Major Hurricane Beryl to Impact Windward Islands Monday Morning with Life-Threatening Conditions



Major Hurricane Beryl is expected to reach the Windward Islands early Monday morning, bringing life-threatening winds and a significant storm surge. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a comprehensive advisory detailing the hurricane’s intensity and projected path, urging residents to take immediate precautions.

As of 5:00 a.m. AST, Hurricane Beryl was positioned near latitude 11.7 North and longitude 59.9 West, approximately 125 miles east-southeast of Grenada and 140 miles southeast of St. Vincent. The hurricane is advancing westward at 20 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, classifying it as a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Warnings and Watches in Effect:

  • Hurricane Warning: Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands, Grenada, Tobago.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: Martinique, Trinidad.
  • Tropical Storm Watch: Dominica, South coast of the Dominican Republic from Punta Palenque westward to the border with Haiti, South coast of Haiti from the border with the Dominican Republic to Anse d’Hainault.

A Hurricane Warning indicates that hurricane conditions are anticipated within the warning area, typically issued 36 hours before the expected onset of tropical-storm-force winds. Residents should expedite preparations to safeguard life and property. A Tropical Storm Warning signifies that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch suggests that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Beryl is forecasted to cause severe wind damage, particularly in areas where its core passes, with the highest risk in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles. Devastating wind damage is expected in the warning areas starting early this morning.

A life-threatening storm surge could elevate water levels by 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels in areas with onshore winds near Beryl’s landfall. This surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches are anticipated across Barbados and the Windward Islands, with localized maxima of 10 inches possible, particularly in the Grenadines and Grenada, potentially causing flash flooding in vulnerable areas.

Marine Conditions in U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico

The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are preparing for worsening marine conditions starting Monday evening. The hurricane’s center is expected to pass approximately 259 miles south of St. Croix and around 230 miles south of Cabo Rojo from late Monday night through Tuesday. Despite staying well south, marine conditions will significantly worsen, with seas rising to 10-15 feet or more and winds reaching 25 knots or stronger near thunderstorms. Beryl’s outer bands may bring squally weather, with rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches, and localized amounts between 2 and 4 inches, causing strong gusty winds and hazardous marine conditions.

The NHC is also monitoring an area of low pressure, designated as Invest 96L, located several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. This system has a 70% chance of formation over the next seven days and could approach the islands between late Wednesday night and Thursday.

Residents in the Lesser Antilles, Hispaniola, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the remainder of the northwestern Caribbean should closely monitor Beryl’s progress. Additional watches or warnings may be issued today.

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