Maria strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane Monday, becoming the fourth major hurricane of the Atlantic Basin’s 2017 season.
Maria is moving straight for the Leeward Islands Monday evening and will likely move just to the north of the Greater Antilles later this week. Hurricane watches and warnings are in effect for the Lesser Antilles and a hurricane watch is in effect for Puerto Rico.
Beyond the next five days, Maria’s forecast is uncertain, however long range forecast guidance indicates that Maria may make a northern turn much sooner compared to Irma, and instead either impact the East Coast or move out to sea.
Below is additional information from the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Maria Intermediate Advisory Number 9A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017
200 PM AST Mon Sep 18 2017
…MARIA CONTINUING TO STRENGTHEN…
…THE EYE IS EXPECTED TO MOVE THROUGH THE LEEWARD ISLANDS LATE THIS
AFTERNOON OR THIS EVENING…
SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST…1800 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 45 MI…70 KM ENE OF MARTINIQUE
ABOUT 70 MI…115 KM ESE OF DOMINICA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…125 MPH…200 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…956 MB…28.23 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
The Government of Barbados has discontinued the Tropical Storm
Watch for Barbados.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat
* St. Lucia
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Antigua and Barbuda
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* St. Vincent and the Grenadines
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and
property should be rushed to completion.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours
before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force
winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles and the Dominican
Republic should monitor the progress of this system. Hurricane
Warnings will likely be issued for Puerto Rico and the nearby
islands this afternoon.
For storm information specific to your area in the United
States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please
monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service
forecast office. For storm information specific to your area outside
the United States, please monitor products issued by your national
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located
by the French radar on Martinique near latitude 14.9 North,
longitude 60.4 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near
10 mph (17 km/h), and this motion with some decrease in forward
speed is expected through Tuesday night. On the forecast track, the
center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands late today and
tonight, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea Tuesday and
Tuesday night, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on
Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft
indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 125 mph
(200 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on
the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional rapid
strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria is
expected to be a dangerous major hurricane as it moves through the
Leeward Islands and the northeastern Caribbean Sea.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from
the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125
miles (205 km).
The minimum central pressure estimated from the Hurricane Hunter
aircraft data is 956 mb (28.23 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Hurricane conditions are first expected within portions of
the Leeward Islands by late today, with tropical storm conditions
beginning shortly. Hurricane conditions should spread through the
remainder of the hurricane warning area tonight through Tuesday
night. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch
area Tuesday through Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions
possible later today or tonight. Tropical storm conditions are
possible in the tropical storm watch area through tonight.
STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and
destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 6 to 9 feet
above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area near where
the center of Maria moves across the Leeward Islands and the
British Virgin Islands.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause
normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters
moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to reach
the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the
time of high tide…
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands…6 to 9 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to
the north and east of the landfall location, where the surge will be
accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related
flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal
cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information
specific to your area, please see products issued by your local
National Weather Service forecast office.
RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of
6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches across the
central and southern Leeward Islands, and the U.S. and British
Virgin Islands through Wednesday night. Rainfall amounts of 6 to 12
inches with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches are expected
across Puerto Rico. Maria is also expected to produce total rain
accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 8
inches over the remaining northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to
Anguilla, eastern portions of the Dominican Republic, as well as the
Windward Islands and Barbados. Rainfall on all of these islands
could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.
SURF: Swells generated by Maria are affecting the Lesser Antilles.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip
current conditions. Please consult products from your local