A flood advisory is in effect for St. Thomas until 12:45 p.m. Monday as Tropical Storm Earl continues to bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the territory, according to the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Up to one inch of rain had fallen with a thunderstorm that developed shortly after 10:30 a.m., and an additional inch of rain is expected over the area and could result in minor flooding, the NWS said.
As of 11 a.m. Monday, Earl was about 150 nautical miles north of St. Thomas, moving north-northwest at about 5 mph per hour with sustained winds of 65 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“A slow motion to the north-northwest or north is forecast to continue for the next 24 to 48 hours, followed by a gradual turn to the north-northeast thereafter,” the NHC said. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from Earl’s center, it said.
Seas are 12 to 18 feet as Earl moves north into the Atlantic. The storm is forecast to intensify into a hurricane by Wednesday and could become a major hurricane east of Bermuda by Saturday, with winds in excess of 110 mph, the NHC said.
A small craft advisory is in effect for the local outer Atlantic waters until 2 p.m. Monday, with the Coast Guard warning seafarers to heed the warnings and exercise caution after several rescues over the weekend off St. Thomas and Puerto Rico. Isolated thunderstorms are possible across the U.S. Virgin Islands and surrounding waters, with winds greater than 20 knots possible over the northeastern local outer Atlantic waters.
“Considerable flood impacts cannot be ruled out in areas that receive heavier rainfall totals,” the National Hurricane Center reported.
Additionally, life-threatening flash flooding, or extensive urban and small stream flooding are possible as bands of rain move across the area, according to the weather service.