Rain to Continue as Tropical Storm Maria Lingers

Many cisterns overflowed Monday as the tail of Tropical Storm Maria spread rain and wind across the territory.

“Throughout the night, you’ll have scattered showers and gusty winds,” Jose Alamo, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in San Juan, said.

While the rain and winds were both heavy at times on Monday, V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency spokesman Christine Lett said there were no reports of flooding. She suggested that because the rain was intermittent, it gave the soil a chance to absorb the rain and reduce flooding.

According to Alamo, the territory could see winds above the tropical storm threshold of 39 mph as Maria drifts to the northwest at about 2 mph. Maria’s slow forward speed means that thunderstorms and gusty winds will linger until Tuesday.

Alamo said Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas had a wind gust of 40 mph on Monday.

At Weather Station Zephyr, located at Ajax Peak, St. John, Monday’s maximum wind gust came at 1:15 p.m. It blew at 42 mph from the west-northwest. Fifteen minutes later, a gust of 24 mph blew from the east-southeast.

Alamo explained that wind goes in all directions outward from thunderstorms so it’s not unusual to have wind come from one direction before quickly changing to another direction.

Between midnight and 5 p.m., a total of 0.9 inches of rain fell at Weather Station Zephyr.

At the 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Maria was located northwest of the territory at 21 degrees north latitude and 67.5 degrees west longitude. The wind was blowing at 50 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend out 200 miles mainly to the north and east of the center.

The weather isn’t going to get substantially better until late Thursday, Alamo said. He said that a tropical wave catching up with Maria’s tail will get absorbed.

“It will cause instability and a lot of moisture,” he said.

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