The National Weather Service extended the flash flood watch issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands on Friday to be effective through Monday evening.
When originally issued, the advisory was to be in effect through Sunday. But on Sunday evening, the NWS said the conditions which prompted the watch would continue throughput the day Monday.
Light to heavy rain fell on the islands throughout the weekend, but it wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that heavy rain began falling.
“The potential for periods of heavy rains and flash flooding is expected to continue through Monday evening,” the weather service said. “A very moist weather pattern will continue to prevail across the region through at least Monday night. This deep tropical moisture, combined with local effects, will keep high chances for shower and thunderstorm development across the local islands.”
Puerto Rico is expected to receive the brunt of the storm. The NWS predicted rainfall accumulations between two to five inches Monday in the most heavily affected areas, mostly Puerto Rico. Soils are already saturated and river levels across most of Puerto Rico are higher than usual, the weather service said.
“Therefore, the potential for flash flooding across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands continues. These heavy rains will bring rapid rises in area rivers and streams and will make transiting on roads and low lying areas impassable.”
the service also warned that additional rain can trigger mudslides and debris flows without warning.
“Recreation on our flashy rivers is not recommended today. Stay safe and keep out of reach of rapidly rising waters,” the National Weather Service warned.
A flash flood watch means that conditions might develop that lead to flash flooding. The weather service advised residents to monitor forecasts and be prepared to take action.