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HomeNewsArchivesV.I. LIKELY TO GET SEA SWELLS, SURF FROM FABIAN

V.I. LIKELY TO GET SEA SWELLS, SURF FROM FABIAN

Sept. 1, 2003 – The Virgin Islands will be experiencing large sea swells and dangerous surf conditions for the next couple of days as fallout from Hurricane Fabio as it passes well to the north of the territory, National Hurricane Center forecasters stated in their 11 p.m. Monday advisory.
The strong Category 4 hurricane was centered near 19.4 degrees north latitude and 58.6 degrees west longitude, or about 235 miles east/northeast of Barbuda. St. Thomas, the northernmost of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is at 18.3 degrees north latitude.
Meteorologist Robert Mitchell at the National Weather Service station in San Juan said earlier Monday that Fabian was expected to pass about 280 to 300 miles northeast of the territory on Tuesday into Wednesday.
The hurricane was packing sustained winds of 145 mph with higher gusts and was moving west-northwest at 10 mph. The barometric pressure was 942 millibars or 27.82 inches.
Hurricane-force winds extended 50 miles from the center of the storm, with tropical storm-force winds reaching outward 140 miles.
While the system had been moving mainly in a westerly direction for several days, it turned just far enough to the north early Monday to put the Virgin Islands out of the danger zone. As a result, the territory should expect only rough seas. However, should Hurricane Fabian dip a bit to the south, the territory could get some sporadic showers.
It seems certain that the Virgin Islands has dodged the bullet with Fabian, but Mitchell reminded residents not to let down their guard, because hurricane season has a long way to go until it ends on Nov. 30.
Mid-September is considered the height of the season. That's when the two most disastrous hurricanes to hit the territory in recent memory paid a call. Hugo struck on Sept. 17-18, 1989, and Marilyn swept through on Sept. 15-16, 1995.
Mitchell said there currently are no other storm systems near or headed in the direction of the Virgin Islands.

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