The U.S. Coast Guard set Port Condition Whiskey for the maritime ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico due to tropical wave Invest 98L possibly arriving to the islands within 72 hours.
Coast Guard port assessment teams are visiting Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday to assess preparedness actions being taken by port facilities.
Located about 1,000 miles east of the Windward Islands as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the wave continues to produce a concentrated area of showers and thunderstorms mainly on the west side of the disturbance, according to the National Hurricane Center’s Wednesday morning update. Environmental conditions are conducive for further development, and a tropical depression is expected to form during the next day or two while the system moves generally west-northwest at 15 to 20 mph.
In the Wednesday news release from the Coast Guard, the Captain of the Port San Juan cautioned the maritime community to remain vigilant to the development and trajectory of tropical wave Invest 98L and take the necessary precautions, as there is a possibility it may continue to gain strength and further develop into a tropical storm as it approaches the area.
During Port Condition Whiskey port facilities are currently open to all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while Whiskey remains in effect.
Pleasure craft should seek safe harbor. Maritime and port facilities are reminded to review and update their heavy weather response plans and make any additional preparations needed to adequately prepare in case of a potential impact to the area.
Mariners are reminded there are no safe havens in these facilities, and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum. All ocean-going commercial vessels greater than 500 gross tons should make plans for departing the port, any vessels wishing to remain in port are required to submit an application to the Captain of the Port prior to the setting of Port Condition X-Ray.
The Coast Guard Captain of the Port San Juan anticipates setting Port Condition X-Ray at 4 p.m. Wednesday for the ports in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. These dates and times are subject to change based on future forecast.
During Port Condition X-Ray, sustained winds greater than 39 mph are possible within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, a large area of showers and thunderstorms located over Guinea and Sierra-Leone, Africa, is associated with a vigorous tropical wave. Environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for some development of this system while the wave enters the extreme eastern Atlantic on Friday. By early next week, however, conditions are forecast to become less favorable for tropical cyclone formation while it moves west-northwest at 15 to 20 mph toward the central tropical Atlantic.