The seas are expected to be rough this Veterans Day Weekend. Residents and visitors in the USVI and Puerto Rico are advised to exercise caution in and around the ocean. Hazardous conditions are forecast to impact the waters around both territories through the weekend.
A strong northerly swell is approaching the area, and the National Weather Service has issued several alerts, including a High Surf Advisory for St. Thomas and St. John, in effect from 6 p.m. AST on Friday through 6 p.m. AST on Saturday.
A Small Craft Advisory is also in effect for the waters of northern Puerto Rico, Culebra, and the northern USVI starting from 8 p.m. AST Friday through 8 p.m. AST on Saturday.
Seas may reach between 6 and 10 feet, and there is a high chance for powerful rip currents, particularly at the north-facing beaches. An update from the National Weather Service in Puerto Rico on Friday morning noted the possibility for “localized minor coastal flooding and beach erosion.”
“Coastal conditions will deteriorate as well, with breaking waves reaching 10 feet, just enough criteria to issue a High Surf Advisory for northern Puerto Rico, Culebra, and the northern U.S. Virgin Islands. There is a high rip current risk for the northern coast of the local islands,” according to the update from the NWS.
The NWS advises that if you become caught in a rip current, yell for help, remain calm, stay afloat and do not attempt to swim directly against the current as you will tire quickly. If you have to swim out of a rip current, swim parallel to shore and back toward the beach when possible.
Residents and visitors in the USVI can stay updated on weather systems and alerts on the V.I. Source Weather page and sign up for alerts from the National Weather Service and the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency.