High surf and rough seas are expected early this week; Marine weather alerts are in effect

High surf and rough seas are expected early this week;  Marine weather alerts are in effect

Several marine weather advisories are in effect for parts of Puerto Rico and the USVI through at least Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Dangerous seas and stormy winds are expected in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands during the first half of this week. Marine weather alerts are currently in effect.

Separate high pressure and low pressure systems in the Atlantic Ocean will help create a dangerous marine weather pattern throughout the local area. While the sun is expected to shine all week, the seas will be rough until at least Tuesday.

“A prolonged boreal swell pulse will cause seas between six and 10 feet (possibly as high as 11 feet) across Atlantic waters and Caribbean passages through the middle of next week,” according to a Sunday update from the National Weather Service. Service (NWS) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Swell period refers to the time between breaking waves.)

“A long-standing northerly swell will also create a life-threatening rip current and large surf along north- and east-facing beaches. Additionally, expect breezy conditions through at least Tuesday (resulting in wind-driven choppy seas).”

Marine warnings

Marine weather advisories are in effect for parts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands through midweek, including a high rip current hazard warning, a high surf advisory, and a small craft advisory. Minor beach erosion is also possible during a swell event.

Wave height forecast on Monday at 8 am. Seas will be dangerous until mid-week. (Photo courtesy of NWS, San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Beachgoers should be aware of the dangers of high surf and the increased risk of rip currents. Slip rip currents, which are strong currents of water that flow very quickly offshore, may occur without warning and can quickly become extremely dangerous and even life-threatening to even the most efficient swimmers.

“Rip currents can sweep even the best swimmers away from shore and into deeper water where it becomes difficult to return to safety,” the National Weather Service warned. “High waves can overwhelm piers and sweep people and pets onto jagged rocks,” the NWS added.

Copy current safety tips. (Photo courtesy of NWS)

“If you get caught in a rip current, scream for help. Stay calm, don’t overexert yourself, and stay afloat while waiting for help,” the NWS advised. “If you have to swim out of a rip current, swim parallel to shore and then back toward shore when possible.” Do not try to swim directly against the rip current, because you will tire quickly.

Stay informed about the weather

Residents and visitors can locate weather information and get alerts, including marine weather updates, from the Virgin Islands Regional Emergency Management Agency and National Weather Service website.

A daily weather post is also posted on the source weather page, where weather forecast videos are available for viewing.

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