Though shower activity from the tropical wave passing across the Caribbean Sea has decreased since Sunday, the National Weather Service warned Monday that the disturbance could still produce an increase in cloudiness and thunderstorms over the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, during the next few days.
For that reason the National Hurricane Center has continued a flash flood watch originally issued Sunday through Tuesday night.
Atmospheric conditions and land effects should inhibit the development of this system as it moves west-northwestward for the next several days, the NHC said in its Monday evening report. The forecasters gave the system no chance of tropical development in the following 48 hours and only 10 percent through the next five days.
Rain amounts will be enough to cause flooding in some areas of higher terrain and also areas where thunderstorms persist. Overall, rainfall totals are forecast to range between one and two inches, with isolated higher amounts expected across the U.S. Virgin Islands. This will cause guts and small streams to overflow their banks, the National Weather Service said. Some of these rises will happen very rapidly due to torrential rainfall from thunderstorms in a short period of time. There is also a possibility of mudslides in steep terrain.
In announcing the extended flash flood watch, the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency gave the following safety suggestions.
– Stay safe: If you do not have an immediate need to traverse during periods of heavy rainfall, remain indoors and continue to monitor weather reports. Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. The agency repeated the catch phrase, “Turn around, don’t drown!”
– Do not drive into flooded areas: If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
– Take your time: You may feel tempted to operate vehicles faster in the rain, but DON’T. The rain makes surfaces and roads slick. Pay attention to your surroundings, leave extra space ahead, and move more slowly – especially in periods of low visibility due to heavy rainfall.