from Virgin Islands Daily News:

By DANIEL SHEA, reporter, Daily News Staff
Published: June 26, 2010

Daily News Photo by Sean McCoy, License: N/A, Created:  2010:06:26 08:36:23

The territory can expect to nearly double the average rainfall for June in the next 48 hours alone, with 3 to 5 inches of rain expected, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Luis Rosa.There is currently a tropical wave over the Leeward Islands moving toward the region and a low-pressure atmosphere north of Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, Rosa said.

The combination of those two systems is “going to produce a very unstable atmosphere over the next 48 hours,” he said.

Still, even though the rains may dampen a number of festivities long-scheduled for this weekend, there seems to be little chance the storms will result in anything more than a lot of water and careful driving.

The National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center gave the tropical wave a 20 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression on Friday night.

“So, it does not look likely that it would turn into anything more than a heavy rain event,” Rosa said.

The rainy weekend has been part of an unusually rainy month.

“June and July are typically really dry months, but it hasn’t really been like that this year,” Rosa said.

June has well exceeded average rainfall — as has the year.

St. Thomas has seen 8.57 inches of rain so far this month; the average is 2.39 inches. Not including Friday’s showers, St. Croix has gotten 6 inches of rain this month; its average is 2.3 inches.

Year-to-date, St. Thomas has collected 21.7 inches — more than 9 inches above normal averages. St. Croix has received 16.89 inches, which is 3.49 inches more than the year’s average to this point.

And, all signs point to an above-average hurricane season, Rosa said.

“Everyone is indicating a high likelihood of above average hurricane activity this year,” he said.

The heavy rains come at an inopportune time, with a number of cultural events planned for the weekend.

Rain Friday was responsible for the cancellation of the St. John Festival Princess Selection Pageant.

Upcoming weekend happenings could also get washed out.

St. Croix’s Mango Melee, Donkey Races, and Bush Chef Knockout have all been scheduled for this weekend; St. John has Festival-related events, with the Food Festival and Miss St. John 2010 Festival Queen Selection Pageant scheduled to take place; and St. Thomas has the Relay for Life fundraiser scheduled.

Organizers and participants can hope for pockets of dry weather, but chances are slim, Rosa said.

Both today and Sunday are expected to be very wet, with the first real sunshine breaking through Monday, Rosa said.