Tropical Storm Irene is expected to pass to southwest of the island, nearer St. Croix. But its 150 mile-wide storm wind field means there will be heavy weather in the Virgin Islands between now and Tuesday.
The latest statement from the National Weather Service:
A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for … Puerto Rico…Vieques…and Culebra
On the forecast track…Irene will pass near Puerto Rico tonight or early Monday and approach the Dominican Republic on Monday. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph…85 km/h…with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or so…and Irene could become a hurricane on Monday.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles…240 km…mainly to the north of the center.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin this afternoon in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico…and in the Dominican Republic early Monday.
Hurricane conditions are expected over Puerto Rico…Vieques…and Culebra tonight…and over the Dominican Republic on Monday.
Rainfall…Irene is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 7 inches in the Leeward Islands…Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands…with isolated maximum amounts of up to 10 inches.