Rain will begin to clear for Christmas

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ST. CROIX - An upper-level trough in the area led to heavy showers and thunderstorms on St. Croix on Monday and rain across the territory.

The upper-level trough is inducing a surface trough that is creating instability in the atmosphere across the area, said Odylis Martinez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Juan.

That led to intermittent showers on St. Thomas and heavy showers and thunderstorms on St. Croix.

The rain is expected to continue today and may start to slow down somewhat on Wednesday, according to Martinez.

Monday afternoon's downpours on St. Croix brought almost an inch of rain to Rohlsen Airport, while estimates were that other areas of the island may have seen as much as 2 inches, Martinez said.

The thunderstorms also brought gusty winds and lower temperatures.

During the rain, temperatures dropped from the mid-70s to 69 degrees at Rohlsen Airport at 3:30 p.m., Martinez said. Later, temperatures rose to the mid-70s again.

The highest wind gust recorded during Monday's thundershowers on St. Croix was 43 mph, which occurred about 3 p.m., she said.

On St. Thomas, there were intermittent showers, but not so intense.

"The worst part was over St. Croix, but St. Thomas saw passing showers on and off," Martinez said.

The rain gauge at King Airport on St. Thomas showed 0.06 of an inch between midnight and 9 p.m. Monday, according to Martinez.

The rain showers are expected to continue today and Wednesday, although with less intensity and frequency on Christmas Day, she said.

"For Tuesday, we will continue to see periods of shower and thunderstorms, slowly improving for Wednesday," she said.

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