Unsettled Weather Pattern Expected Through the Middle of the Week

A map of forecast precipitation totals through Wednesday morning. Approximately one to three inches of rain is possible across the USVI, with higher amounts over portions of Puerto Rico. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

The National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, expects an unsettled weather pattern and plenty of tropical moisture across the region through at least Wednesday. Periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms are possible.

“Wet and unstable conditions [are forecast to] continue through at least tomorrow with favorable conditions for heavy shower and thunderstorm development,” according to an update on Tuesday from the National Weather Service.

The NWS warned residents and visitors about the possibility of flash flooding and mudslides as a large area of tropical moisture passes by the islands.

“Due to the unsettled weather pattern and saturated soils, additional heavy rains will lead to quick river rises, water surges with flash flooding, and landslides, especially through early Wednesday,” the NWS said.

The NWS noted that rain and strong storms with frequent lightning have developed, and conditions will be favorable for additional precipitation to occur. A map of forecast precipitation totals through Wednesday morning indicated the potential of between approximately one and three inches of rain across the USVI, with higher amounts over portions of Puerto Rico.

“Recent satellite imagery and Doppler weather radar showed strong thunderstorms developing over the offshore Atlantic waters, while shower activity continued to increase across the Caribbean waters and areas between eastern Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” the NWS explained. “These showers and thunderstorms produced areas of locally heavy rains and frequent lightning, mainly over the coastal waters.”

In addition to heavy rainfall, marine conditions will be hazardous for small boat operators due to gusty winds generating wind-driven, choppy seas. A Small Craft Advisory is in effect for portions of the local waters surrounding the USVI and Puerto Rico until at least 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

Weather conditions are expected to improve beginning on Thursday as drier air moves across the region.

Flash Flood and Mudslide Preparedness

Visible satellite imagery obtained at 1:10 p.m. on Tuesday shows a large area of tropical moisture across the region. An unsettled weather pattern is expected to last through at least Wednesday. (Photo courtesy NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico and NOAA)

Individuals may be caught off-guard during a flash flood, including while driving in a vehicle, as described in a Source article regarding flash flood safety. If flooding occurs while driving, the NWS offers the following tips to stay safe.

“Never drive your car into water of unknown depth. Most flash flood deaths occur when people drive their vehicles into flood waters. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” the NWS advised.

In the event of a mudslide or a landslide, the United States Geographical Survey recommends remaining alert and as far away from a debris flow as possible. Additional safety advice is available on the USGS official website.

Weather Updates

USVI visitors and residents can locate additional information about the weather, including severe weather alerts and marine weather updates, from the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency website and the National Weather Service.

A daily weather post is also published on the Source Weather Page, where readers can view weather forecast videos.