A coastal flood warning is in effect for St. Thomas and St. John, effective until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
According to the National Weather Service, conditions include a high risk of rip currents and coastal flooding along the northwest to northeast shores of the islands, with waves breaking 16 to 21 feet high. Small-craft advisories are in effect.
The weather service warned that the currents will be strong enough to carry “even the best swimmers” out to sea.
The forecast for the region calls for mostly cloudy skies with scattered to numerous showers and hazardous marine conditions.
A high surf advisory means that high surf will affect beaches in the area producing localized beach erosion and dangerous swimming conditions.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as groins, jetties and piers.
A coastal flood warning means that flooding is occurring or imminent. Coastal residents in the warned area should be alert for rising water and “take appropriate action to protect life,” the NWS said.
A high surf warning indicates that dangerous, battering waves will pound the shoreline, resulting in life-threatening conditions.