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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, December 4, 2023
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Northerly Swell Forecasted to Impact Puerto Rico and the USVI Later This Weekend, High Rip Current Risk

Waves breaking on shore at Magens Bay on St. Thomas earlier this week. A northerly swell will begin to build this weekend and impact areas of Puerto Rico and the USVI. (Photo by Michele Weichman)

A northerly swell is expected to impact the region later this weekend and into early next week, bringing high seas and an elevated risk for rip currents.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan, PR, has issued a “High Rip Current Risk” for the northern U.S. Virgin Islands and areas of northern Puerto Rico. The alert will be in effect from 6:00 a.m. on Sunday through at least 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

Additionally, a “Small Craft Advisory” will be in effect for portions of the local waters around the northern USVI and Puerto Rico from 8:00 a.m. AST on Sunday until 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

A “High Surf Advisory” has also been issued for northern Puerto Rico and the beaches around the island of Culebra.

Wave height forecast for 8:00 p.m. AST on Sunday. There is a high chance for powerful rip currents throughout this weekend. (Image from National Weather Service, San Juan, PR official website)

“A northerly swell is forecast to arrive in the region tonight, resulting in building seas,” according to an update on Friday from the National Weather Service (NWS) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“Dangerous surf conditions and rip currents expected due to breaking waves around 6 to 9 feet, increasing through the weekend,” an update from the NWS continued.

The weather statement explained that seas would be choppy throughout the weekend and into early next week. Swimmers, surfers, and small craft operators are advised to monitor conditions closely, and updates will be posted to the Source Weather Page as they become available.

Readers of the Source can stay updated on weather systems 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.

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