Thunder boomers and some rain Thursday were harbingers of what’s to come, meteorologist Jose Alamo at the National Weather Service in San Juan said Thursday. However, Thursday’s weather is the result of a trough in the area, not the tropical wave heading this way.
Alamo said he expects the tropical wave to bring rainy weather and wind gusts up to 30 mph starting Saturday morning through Sunday, admitting it was difficult to say precisely where the rain would fall and how much it would be.
“There’s still uncertainty about the track and strength,” he said.
Alamo also said seas will hit 4 to 6 feet starting Thursday night, reaching 7 to 8 feet by Saturday.
“For the weekend, the water will be rough,” Alamo said.
As things now stand, the wave will pass to the northeast of the Virgin Islands on Sunday.
According to Alamo, it doesn’t look like it will organize into something stronger while it’s in the vicinity because it’s moving into a hostile environment.
“Any significant intensification seems unlikely,” Alamo said.
That said, the forecast is for it to develop into a named storm as it moves to the northwest. It’s likely to be Rafael. The name Patty went to what was a tropical wave that escalated into a depression at the 11 a.m. Thursday update. By 5 p.m., it was a tropical storm.
V.I. National Park isn’t taking any chances and opened up Hurricane Hole on Thursday so boaters could get situated on their hurricane moorings just in case.
“Given the uncertainty of things … you never know,” said Rafe Boulon, the park’s chief of resource management.