Puerto Rico Gets Unprecedented Heat Advisory

For the first time, it applies to the entire island
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 25, 2024 4:54 PM CDT
Puerto Rico Gets First Island-Wide Heat Advisory
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority workers repair distribution lines damaged by Hurricane Maria in this 2017 photo.   (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)

Meteorologists on Tuesday for the first time issued a heat advisory for the entire island of Puerto Rico, which is struggling with chronic power outages as it broils under an unrelenting sun. All 78 of the US territory's municipalities were placed under a heat advisory or warning, as well as the US Virgin Islands. This is the first time forecasters have extended a heat advisory beyond Puerto Rico's coastal areas since the alert system was put in place six years ago, the AP reports.

Heat indexes were expected to reach up to 114 degrees Fahrenheit along most of Puerto Rico's coastal areas on Tuesday and through Wednesday morning as a dense cloud of Saharan dust blankets the island.

  • Ernesto Morales, warning coordination meteorologist with the San Juan National Weather Service, told the AP this is the first time the advisory has been issued island-wide. "Just like hurricane or flood warnings, we want the public to make decisions taking these advisories into account," Morales said. He noted that climate change and warming waters are contributing to the island's oppressive heat.
  • The dense layer of Saharan dust—composed of mineral dust from West Africa—moving across Puerto Rico and the Atlantic on Tuesday is making the heat worse. The dust particles are considered a health hazard, especially for those with allergies or weakened immune systems.
(More Puerto Rico stories.)

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