5:00AM 13th October 2012 -Over the last several hours, there have been no major changes with Tropical Storm Rafael. It was centered near 15.7N and 64.2W, or about 145 miles south-southeast of St. Croix. Maximum sustained winds remain near 40 mph. Movement is to the northwest at 9 mph. Rafael is still encountering wind shear, but it could strengthen slightly before reaching the Virgin Islands later today. The most significant impact from this system will be heavy rain across the Lesser Antilles. Up to 6 inches of rain could fall with isolated areas seeing up to 10 inches. By Sunday, the center of Rafael will have moved out of the Caribbean. It will accelerate to the north-northwest and then north-northeast. Although it could become fully extratropical before reaching Newfoundland, strong winds will still be possible late Wednesday into early Thursday morning.
Synopsis: The presence of Tropical Storm Rafael will continue to cause adverse and unstable weather conditions across the Leewards and BVI over the next 24 hours. TS warnings remain in place for these areas.
Wx: Cloudy to overcast skies today and tonight with numerous showers, some of which could be moderate to heavy at times accompanied by widespread thunderstorms. A flash flood watch is now in place for low lying and flood prone areas until 2pm today. With the anticipation of heavy rainfall, this could be upgraded to a warning at short notice.
Winds: NE-NNW at 8-16kts with higher gusts over open waters and during heavier showers..
Seas: Very rough, swells 2.4-3.7m or 8-12ft. A firm warning remains in place for small craft operators and sea bathers against dangerous sea conditions. Small crafts should stay in port while sea bathers should avoid these waters.
Barometric Pressure: Well below normal.
Sunset today: 5:57 pm.
Sunrise tomorrow: 6:06 am.
The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is currently monitoring the system and will provide updates accordingly. Please visit the DDM’s website at www.bviddm.com and subscribe for future updates.
Disclaimer: The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may result in the loss of finances, property or life.