82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 11, 2022


Aug. 22, 2001 – The Virgin Islands and parts of Puerto Rico experienced tropical storm conditions Wednesday when a westward moving-tropical wave quickly developed into the fourth named tropical weather system of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Tropical Storm Dean was named after a hurricane hunter reconnaissance aircraft on a flight mission discovered the low-pressure circulation center Wednesday afternoon. A similar reconnaissance mission on Tuesday reported the lack of an organized storm center.
The weather system was well to the northwest of the U.S. Virgin Islands when it was named. But according to hurricane forecasters, the eastern side of the storm system — the portion closest to the territory — contained the most intense rain and thundershower activity.
By early in the afternoon, dense cloudy skies dominated the local weather scenario, with showers and intermittent thundershowers experienced territory-wide. Radar images and satellite photographs showed a blanket of precipitation extending from the Virgin Islands down the Lesser Antilles much of the day.
The onlslaught of showers and thundershower activity caused a number of power outages and other inconveniences to residents of the territory. On St. Thomas, the downtown shopping district was without power much of the afternoon, and gusting winds there knocked over a power pole near the USO Building on the Waterfront.
Water and Power Authority spokeswoman Laurie Christian said high winds knocked Feeder 10 on St. Thomas out of service, but power was restored by late afternoon. There were reports of isolated outages in the Valdemar Hill Sr. "Skyline Drive" and Hull Bay areas. No other utility outages were reported except for a brief interruption of cable television triggered by the storm-related power loss.
Packing sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, Dean moved quickly to the west northwest, and by the end of the day it was well over 100 miles beyond St. Thomas. But trailing weather continued to dump heavy rain and send wind gusting to tropical storm force in squalls over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, with these effects forecast to continue through the evening hours.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service described conditions across the islands as favorable for water spout formation. And, it said, the water spouts could extend over land masses in the region.
Independent meteorologists for two St. Thomas radio stations said Wednesday afternoon that a marked improvement in the weather was expected by Thursday morning. Alan Archer, chief meteorologist for Knight Quality Stations, forecast "a return of partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s."

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