The humidity associated with Hurricane Lee will keep the weather in Puerto Rico variable

The humidity associated with Hurricane Lee will keep the weather in Puerto Rico variable

The humidity associated with Hurricane Leewhose eye is more than 385 statute miles north of San Juan, will lead to a variable weather pattern this Tuesday with extreme heat conditions in multiple towns and rain interruptions with possible isolated thunderstorms.

In addition, the cyclone, which this morning continued with sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (category 3 in the Saffir-Simpson wind scale), maintains hazardous marine and coastal conditions in local Atlantic waters, due to intense storm surge that is producing breaking waves in the range of 8 to 13 feet high across most beaches in the north.

Both for the extreme heat that will be experienced this Tuesday and for the dangerous maritime conditions, the National Weather Service (SNM) in San Juan has several warning products in effect.

Below are the details of the forecast for this Tuesday:

  • With the wind blowing mostly from the southwest at a rate of 10 knots, the humidity present in the area and the increase in temperatures that the wind will drive will give way to hot conditions in towns in the northern half. In general, heat indices across most coastal municipalities in that region will range between 108 to 112 degrees Fahrenheit (°F), with areas that could exceed 112°F.
  • Extreme Heat Warning: This product will be in effect from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm for the following towns: Bayamon, Carolina, Catano, Guaynabo, San Juan, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Aguadilla, Camuy, Hatillo, Isabela, Quebradillas, Aguada, Anasco, Hormigueros, Mayaguez, Moca, Rincon, San German, Culebra and Vieques. In these areas, rates will be around 108 to 111°F.
  • Extreme heat warning: This product will be in effect from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm for the following towns: Arecibo, Barceloneta, Dorado, Florida, Manati, Vega Alta and Vega Baja. In these areas, rates could reach or exceed 112°F.
  • When and where would we see rain this Tuesday? Although the center of Hurricane Lee is more than 350 miles away from Puerto Rico, the cyclone is still relatively close for its outer bands to reach the island and cause some rain. Therefore, answering that question is imprecise, since we are at the mercy of the movement of these bands of humidity that could cause moderate to heavy downpours and some gusts of wind, at any time of the day.
  • Where is it most likely to rain? Given the direction of the southwest wind, the northern half of the island, specifically the towns in the north-central, metropolitan area and northeast, could experience moderate to intense rain activity in the afternoon hours, with the possibility of produce some isolated thunderstorms. This day of precipitation will depend on the combination of the diurnal heat that accumulates during the day, the instability that may persist due to the proximity of the hurricane and the local effects. The interior and east of the island could also see some showers after midday.
  • Will the rain leave significant accumulations? Judging by model projections, the rain generated this Tuesday should not leave more than an inch and a half of rain, generally speaking. However, heavier downpours may leave 1 to 2 inches of water in localized areas.
  • They may be issued urban flood warnings in areas with the highest concentration of rainfall.
  • Until when would we have variable weather? As Hurricane Lee continues north of Puerto Rico, altering wind direction and maintaining high humidity levels, the probability of rain interruptions will remain medium to high for the rest of this week. In fact, on Friday we could still see rain activity across almost the entire island, due to the trail of moisture (also known as the “tail”) of Hurricane Lee.
  • The waves in Atlantic waters are 12 feet high and should continue in a range of 10 to 15 feet through tomorrow, Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the waves in the waters of the Caribbean Sea will fluctuate between 4 to 6 feet. The wind in local Atlantic waters will fluctuate between 20 to 25 knots.
  • Warnings for dangerous maritime conditions: The SNM maintains in force a warning of strong rip currents, a warning for operators of small boats and a special statement due to high risk of marine currents.
  • Outlook for conditions in the tropics: In addition to Hurricanes Lee and Margot, the National Hurricane Center monitor two areas with a 70% chance of development in the next 70 days. These areas (AL97 and AL98) are going to merge in the next few days and a tropical depression could emerge from them. This process should occur in the center of the tropical Atlantic.

Carlos Tolentino Rosario is a journalist who covers weather, climate change and science, among others. He holds a certification in weather forecasting from the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences at Pennsylvania State University (PSU). He is also a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

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