Forecasters: System will be past V.I. before it turns into a storm


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ST. THOMAS - A storm is brewing out over the Atlantic, but forecasters said it will be well past the territory before it turns into a named storm.

Heavy rainshowers and thunderstorms are expected to drench the territory today, National Weather Service meteorologist David Sanchez said.

He said the territory could get 4-6 inches of rain. A flash flood watch is in place for the territory through Saturday.

"There's a little bit of moisture that the system will be pulling up," Sanchez said. "So, that moisture will linger until at least Saturday."

Seas will be rough, especially along the north and eastern parts of the islands, Sanchez said. He said waves are forecast to be about 7 feet high.

At press time Friday, the low pressure system had a 60 percent chance of developing into a cyclone in the next 48 hours and was moving west-northwest about 20 to 25 miles per hour across the Lesser Antilles.

Sanchez said if the system does turn into a tropical storm, it will be past the Dominican Republic when that happens.

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters flew into the weather system Thursday afternoon and found that while it is poorly defined, there was a small area of tropical storm force winds on the northeast side of the low.

The Associated Press reported that cruise lines and airlines are monitoring the weather system, but have not made significant alterations in their itineraries.

Only the Carnival Splendor has altered its route, swapping a call to Turks and Caicos for one in Florida, according to the report.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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