Rain may not stop this year’s St. John Festival – now into its last lap – but it is going to make things mighty damp, as a strong tropical wave slogs across the territory.
“Look for intermittent showers though Monday," said Walter Snell, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan, Saturday morning. "It looks like it’s going to get worse Saturday night, stay poor on Sunday with more rain Monday.”
Some of those showers will turn into deluges, Snell said. And they’ll be accompanied by stiff winds of up to 20 mph as well as some thunder and lightning.
At Weather Station Zephyr on Ajax Peak, St. John, wind gusted to 47 mph at 4 p.m. Friday, followed by a 38 mph gust at 4:15 p.m. A total of .08 inches of rain fell Friday at the weather station, with the number reaching .39 inches between midnight and 8 a.m. Saturday.
The territory remains on a flash flood watch until 6 p.m. Saturday. Snell said a decision will be made Saturday afternoon on whether to extend it. On St. Croix, guts and low-lying areas are expected to flood.
The V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency sent out an alert Friday urging drivers to use extreme caution, avoid low lying areas and to be careful when approaching highway dips and underpasses. According to the alert, the heavy rain could also cause mudslides in areas of steep terrain.
The tropical wave shows no signs of escalating into a tropical depression, Snell said. He noted this tropical wave is one of the “best” he’s seen in his seven years at the Weather Service San Juan office.
He was a tad hopeful, however. He said that if the wave moves a bit north, the territory could be in a dry spot.
The weather will start to dry up Tuesday, but Snell said another tropical wave should hit the area by Friday.
Told that Festival Village is scheduled to be open Saturday and Sunday nights, with the parade beginning at 11 a.m. Monday, Snell suggested the theme should be water sports.
“Wear a snorkel and mask….,” he said, perhaps some scuba gear, or just a bathing suit.