March 6, 2009 — The heavy rains of the past few days will ease up as cooler and drier air filters into the region, according to the National Weather Service office in San Juan. But the wind and the seas should really pick up, NWS meteorologist Robert Mitchell said.
"The remnants of a frontal boundary pushed south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico," Mitchell said, while strong surface high pressure builds to the north and northerly wind flow increases.
Mitchell said look for wind gusts reaching 30 to 35 mph on Sunday. Sustained winds could hit 20 to 25 mph. The winds will remain out of the north.
Mitchell expects seas to reach 11 to 12 feet offshore by Sunday. He said they'll be at their worst on north facing coasts. "There is lots of chop," he said.
Small craft advisories remain in effect through the weekend until late Tuesday.
The dismal weather began Wednesday, and many places in the Virgin Islands saw heavy rain Friday morning. At Weather Station Zephyr at Ajax Peak on St. John, the heaviest rain fell around 6 a.m. The weather station recorded 4.24 inches per hour.
On Friday, .63 inches of rain fell at Weather Station Zephyr between midnight and 1 p.m.
Since the beginning of March, 1.25 inches of rain has fallen. In March 2008, only a total of .74 inches of rain fell, but the March average for the past six years stands at 1.9. One of those March months was very rainy with a total of 5.19 inches falling in 2004.
This year, 1.04 inches of rain fell at Weather Station Zephyr in February. January saw 1.29 inches of rain.
The Planning and Natural Resources Department's weekly list of beaches with contamination included Klein Bay on St. John.
"It's probably storm water runoff," Planning spokesman Jamal Nielsen said.
Two St. Croix beaches had contaminated water — Princess and Protestant Cay — but those are the result of a failure at the LBJ pump station.
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