Tropical Storm Maria

Tropical Storm Maria Track 1100 Hours September 29 2017
Tropical Storm Maria Satellite 1100 Hours September 29 2017
Tropical Storm Maria Satellite 1100 Hours September 29 2017

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 1100 AM AST Fri Sep 29 2017

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Although Maria is trying to race east-northeastward ahead of a cold front, satellite images indicate that cold air is already beginning to entrain into the circulation of the tropical cyclone. Most of deep convection is limited to a curved band to the east of the center and an average of Dvorak estimates indicate that the maximum winds are still 50 kt.

The winds could increase a little due to baroclinic forcing later today while Maria acquires extratropical characteristics. Maria should become post-tropical in about 36 hours, and then dissipate or be absorbed by a larger cyclone around day 3.

Maria is already embedded in the mid-latitude westerlies and is racing toward the east-northeast at 27 kt. This steering pattern is forecast to persist, and Maria is anticipated to continue on this track with an increase in forward speed until dissipation. The NHC forecast uses guidance provided by the NOAA Ocean Prediction Center and is also in very good agreement with track models.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 29/1500Z 37.5N 60.1W 60 MPH (NE of Virginia Beach, VA)
12H 30/0000Z 38.6N 55.3W 65 MPH (E of Delaware)
24H 30/1200Z 40.5N 48.5W 65 MPH (E of Philadelphia, PA)
36H 01/0000Z 43.5N 40.5W  65 MPH (SE of Nova Scotia, Canada)
48H 01/1200Z 46.5N 32.5W 60 MPH (E of France)
72H 02/1200Z…DISSIPATED

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Previous Warning  1100 AM EDT Tue Sep 26 2017

The satellite presentation of Maria has continued to slowly degrade over the past 24 hours, as deep convection is now confined to the southeastern portion of the circulation. Peak surface wind estimates from the Stepped Frequency Microwave Radiometer on the reconnaissance aircraft have been around 60 kt both overnight and this morning, but due to sampling considerations for such a large wind field the initial wind speed is held at 65 kt for this advisory. Cool waters and moderate west-northwesterly shear are expected to cause a gradual decrease in intensity over the next couple of days, and Maria is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm later today or tonight. Little change in strength is expected later in the period while Maria accelerates east-northeastward and begins to interact with a frontal boundary over the north Atlantic.

Maria continues to move slowly northward around the western side of a subtropical ridge. A mid- to upper-level ridge over the northeastern United States to the north of Maria is likely to keep the cyclone’s forward motion slow for the next 24-36 h. After that time, a mid-latitude trough moving across the Great Lakes region is expected to lift Maria east-northeastward or northeastward at an increasing forward speed. The track guidance remains in good agreement on the scenario but there continue to be large speed differences after 48 hours. The new official forecast is a little slower than the previous one at days 3-5 to be more in line with the various consensus aids.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria is forecast to continue moving northward, paralleling the U.S. east coast for the next 36 hours, and will likely bring some direct impacts to portions of the North Carolina coast through Wednesday where a tropical storm warning is in effect.

2. Storm surge flooding, especially along the sound side of the North Carolina Outer Banks, is expected, and a storm surge warning and watch are in effect for portions of eastern North Carolina.

3. Swells generated by Maria are affecting much of the east coast of the United States. These swells are also affecting Bermuda, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 26/1500Z 33.6N 73.1W  75 MPH Category 1 (E of Myrtle Beach, SC)
12H 27/0000Z 34.3N 73.1W 70 MPH  1 (SE of Morehead City, NC)
24H 27/1200Z 35.1N 73.0W 70 MPH  1 (SE of Nags Head, NC)
36H 28/0000Z 35.7N 72.4W 65 MPH  1 (SE of Nags Head, NC)
48H 28/1200Z 36.1N 70.9W 65 MPH  1 (NE of Nags Head, NC)
72H 29/1200Z 37.6N 63.6W 65 MPH  1 (E of Maryland)
96H 30/1200Z 42.5N 49.5W 65 MPH  1 (SE of Nova Scotia, Canada)
120H 01/1200Z 50.5N 30.0W 60 MPH.  1 (SW of Ireland)

Previous Warning 1100 AM EDT Mon Sep 25 2017

…MARIA CONTINUES TO MOVE SLOWLY NORTHWARD…
…LARGE SWELLS AFFECTING MUCH OF THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED
STATES…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…31.2N 72.9W
ABOUT 315 MI…505 KM SSE OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…80 MPH…130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 360 DEGREES AT 7 MPH…11 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…963 MB…28.44 INCHES

At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 31.2 North, longitude 72.9 West. Maria is moving toward the north near 7 mph (11 km/h), and this general motion withsome decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move well east of the southeast coast of the United States during the next day or so.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next couple of days and Maria is forecast to become a tropical storm Tuesday night.

Maria is a large hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km) primarily to the east of center and tropical- storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles (370 km).

The latest minimum central pressure reported by reconnaissance aircraft is 963 mb (28.44 inches).

Previous Warning 500 PM EDT Sun Sep 24 2017

Recent reports from NOAA and Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Maria’s pressure has fallen a few millibars since this morning, but there has been little overall change inintensity. A blend of the flight-level and Stepped Frequency Radiometer Microwave Radiometer data yields an initial wind speed of around 90 kt. Maria will be traversing warm water and remain in a low shear environment during the next day or so, and some fluctuations in intensity are possible through Monday. After that time, Maria is forecast to move over cooler waters left over from Hurricane Jose. This is likely to result in gradual weakening, however Maria is forecast to maintain hurricane status through the entire forecast period.

Maria is moving just west of due north or 350/8 kt. The hurricane is currently being steered north-northwestward to northward between a cut-off low over the southeastern U.S. and a subtropical ridge over the southwestern Atlantic. The forward motion of the hurricane should slow down over the next couple of days as a ridge builds to the north of the system over the northeastern United States. After72 h, Maria should turn east-northeastward and begin to recurve as the deep-layer flow turns southwestward ahead of large mid-latitude trough that is forecast to move over the Great Lakes region by the end of the week. The latest runs of the dynamical models are fairly similar to the previous ones, with the ECMWF along the western side of the guidance and the GFS near the eastern edge. The NHC track is between these solutions, and lies west of the various consensus aids out of respect for the ECMWF and its ensemble mean.

Since Maria is a large hurricane, the associated tropical-storm- force winds could reach a portion of the North Carolina in about 48 hours. As a result, a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for a portion of the coast of North Carolina.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria is forecast to continue moving northward, paralleling the U.S. east coast, and it is likely that some direct impacts will occur along portions of the coast beginning Tuesday, and a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for a portion of the coast of North Carolina.

2. Storm surge flooding especially along the sound side of the North Carolina Outer Banks is possible beginning Tuesday, and a Storm Surge Watch has been issued for a portion of the North Carolina Outer Banks.

3. Swells from Maria are increasing along the coast of the southeastern United States and are expected to reach the Mid- Atlantic coast today. These swells will likely cause dangerous surf and rip currents at beaches in these areas through much of the week.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 24/2100Z 29.4N 73.0W 105 MPH Category 2 (E of Daytona Beach, FL)
12H 25/0600Z 30.3N 73.2W 105 MPH Category 2 (E of Jacksonville, FL)
24H 25/1800Z 31.4N 73.4W 100 MPH Category 2 (SE of Hilton Head Island, SC)
36H 26/0600Z 32.5N 73.5W 90 MPH Category 1 (SE of Charleston, SC)
48H 26/1800Z 33.6N 73.6W 90 MPH Category 1(E of Myrtle Beach, SC)
72H 27/1800Z 35.0N 73.3W 85 MPH Category 1 (NE of Morehead City, NC)
96H 28/1800Z 35.8N 71.0W 75 MPH Category 1 (NE of Nags Head, NC)
120H 29/1800Z 37.5N 64.5W 75 MPH Category 1 (SE of Ocean City, MD)

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Previous Warning 1100 AM EDT Sun Sep 24 2017

…MARIA SLIGHTLY WEAKER AS IT MOVES NORTHWARD…
…INTERESTS ALONG THE CAROLINA AND MID-ATLANTIC COASTS SHOULD
MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF MARIA…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…28.7N 72.9W
ABOUT 300 MI…485 KM ENE OF GREAT ABACO ISLAND
ABOUT 475 MI…765 KM SSE OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…105 MPH…165 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 350 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…947 MB…27.97 INCHES

NOAA and Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft have measured 700-mb flight-level winds of 101 to 117 kt over the eastern and southeastern portion of the Maria this morning. However, surface wind estimates from the SFMR suggest that these winds are not mixing to the surface at the usual efficiency, as the highest SFMR winds on both flights have been around 80 kt. Based on a blend of the flight-level and SFMR winds the initial wind speed has been reduced to 90 kt.

The initial motion estimate is 350/8 kt. A north-northwestward to northward motion is expected over the next 2 to 3 days while Maria is steered between a cut-off low/trough over the southeastern U.S. and eastern Gulf of Mexico, and a subtropical ridge over the southwestern Atlantic. Maria is predicted to slow down within the next couple of days as a high pressure ridge builds to the north of the hurricane. After 72 h, Maria should turn east-northeastward as the ridge to the north weakens and a broad mid-latitude trough begins to move eastward over the northern United States. The
dynamical model guidance is in good agreement on this overall scenario, but there remains a fair amount of spread on the timing of recurvature, with the ECMWF a little farther west and slower than much of the remainder of the guidance. The updated NHC track is between the ECWMF and the various consensus aids, and very close to the previous official forecast. Since Maria is a large hurricane, the associated tropical-storm-force winds could reach a portion of the North Carolina coast by mid-week regardless of the exact forecast track.

Some fluctuations in intensity could still occur during the next day or so while Maria moves over warm water and remains in a low shear environment. Later in the forecast period, cooler waters from the wake of Hurricane Jose that traversed the same area last week will likely cause a gradual decrease in intensity.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria’s is forecast to continue moving northward, paralleling the U.S. east coast, and it is likely that some direct impacts will occur along portions of the coast by midweek. Interests along the coast of the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic should monitor the progress of Maria, as tropical storm or hurricane watches may be needed for part of this area later today.

2. Swells from Maria are increasing along the coast of the southeastern United States and are expected to reach the Mid- Atlantic coast today. These swells will likely cause dangerous surf and rip currents at beaches in these areas through much of the week.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 24/1500Z 28.7N 72.9W  105 MPH Category 2 (NE of Melbourne, FL)
12H 25/0000Z 29.7N 73.1W 105 MPH Category 2 (NE of Daytona Beach, FL)
24H 25/1200Z 30.8N 73.2W 105 MPH Category 2 (NE of Jacksonville, FL)
36H 26/0000Z 31.9N 73.3W 100 MPH Category 2 (E of Hilton Head Island, SC)
48H 26/1200Z 32.9N 73.4W 90 MPH Category 1 (SE of Myrtle Beach, SC)
72H 27/1200Z 34.4N 73.5W 85 MPH  Category 1 (SE of Morehead City, NC)
96H 28/1200Z 35.5N 71.8W 80 MPH  Category 1 (E of Nags Head, NC)
120H 29/1200Z 36.5N 68.0W  75 MPH Category 1 (SE of Virginia Beach, VA)

Previous Warning 1100 AM EDT Sat Sep 23 2017

…DANGEROUS SURF AND RIP CURRENTS EXPECTED AT SOUTHEASTERN UNITED
STATES BEACHES FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…25.4N 72.3W
ABOUT 245 MI…395 KM E OF ELEUTHERA ISLAND
ABOUT 320 MI…515 KM E OF NASSAU
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…115 MPH…185 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NNW OR 340 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…952 MB…28.12 INCHES

At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 25.4 North, longitude 72.3 West. Maria is moving toward the north-northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h), but a turn toward the north is expected by this evening. A northward motion with a decrease in forward speed is forecast to then continue through Monday. On the forecast track, Maria will move away from the Bahamas into the open waters of the western Atlantic today.

Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km).

The minimum central pressure based on aircraft data is 952 mb (28.12 inches).

Previous Warning 1100 AM EDT Fri Sep 22 2017

…MARIA STILL PRODUCING 125-MPH WINDS AS IT PASSES NORTHEAST OF
THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM EDT…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…22.3N 71.0W
ABOUT 55 MI…90 KM N OF GRAND TURK ISLAND
ABOUT 445 MI…715 KM ESE OF NASSAU
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…125 MPH…205 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 8 MPH…13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…958 MB…28.29 INCHES

At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 22.3 North, longitude 71.0 West. Maria is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h). A turn toward the north-northwest is expected later today, followed by a turn toward the north by late Saturday. On the forecast track, Maria’s core will move away from the Turks and Caicos Islands today, and pass northeast and east of the Bahamas through Sunday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 125 mph (205 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. A gradual weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km).

The minimum central pressure based on data from the reconnaissance aircraft is 958 mb (28.29 inches).

Previous Warning 200 PM AST Thu Sep 21 2017

At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the large eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 20.4 North, longitude 69.4 West. Maria is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the north-northwest is forecast early Friday, with that motion continuing through early Saturday. On the forecast track, Maria’s eye will continue to pass offshore of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic today, and then move near or just east of the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas tonight and on Friday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 mph (195 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional strengthening is possible during the next day or so.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km). A wind gust to 49 mph (79 km/h) was recently reported at Santiago de Los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic.

The minimum central pressure based on aircraft data is 960 mb (28.35 inches).

Previous Warning 1100 AM AST Thu Sep 21 2017

Maria is maintaining a large, 40 nm wide eye, and overall, the hurricane’s satellite presentation has not changed since the previous advisory. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigating the system has not measured flight-level winds as high as last evening’s mission, and the central pressure has remained relatively steady. Although there were higher SFMR winds measured, especially to the northeast of the center, the flight
meteorologist reported that the instrument appears to be running 5-10 kt too high. Therefore, the initial intensity is held at 100 kt.

Maria appears to be moving over the remnant cold wake leftover from Hurricane Irma, but it should begin to move over an area of higher oceanic heat content during the next 24 hours or so. Therefore, some strengthening is still forecast, although it is not especially aggressive given what the latest intensity guidance is showing. Gradual weakening is likely from 48 hours onward due to some increase in southwesterly shear, as well as lower oceanic heat content over the western Atlantic. Still, Maria is expected to remain a hurricane for the next 5 days.

The initial motion is northwestward, or 310/8 kt. Maria will be moving between a mid-level high centered south of Bermuda and a broad trough extending from Tropical Storm Jose southwestward into the northern Gulf of Mexico. As a result, Maria is expected to turn gradually north-northwestward to north-northeastward by the end of the forecast period, keeping it over the waters of the western Atlantic after moving by the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas. The track models continue to be tightly clustered, and the updated NHC track forecast lies right along the previous forecast, down the middle of the guidance envelope.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Flash flood emergencies continue in portions of Puerto Rico due to persistent heavy rainfall from Maria’s trailing rainbands. Catastrophic flooding is occurring on the island, especially in areas of mountainous terrain, and everyone in Puerto Rico should continue to follow advice from local officials to avoid these life-threatening flooding conditions.

2. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas, where Maria is expected to bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and heavy rainfall.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 21/1500Z 20.2N 69.1W 115 MPH Category 3 (N of Dominican Republic)
12H 22/0000Z 21.0N 69.9W 120 MPH Category 3 (N of Dominican Republic)
24H 22/1200Z 22.2N 70.7W 120 MPH Category 3 (N of Turks and Caicos)
36H 23/0000Z 23.6N 71.4W 115 MPH Category 3 (N of Turks and Caicos)
48H 23/1200Z 25.1N 71.9W 110 MPH Category 2 (E of Bahamas)
72H 24/1200Z 28.2N 72.3W 110 MPH Category 2 (E of Melbourne, FL)
96H 25/1200Z 30.5N 71.5W 100 MPH Category 2 (E of Melbourne, FL)
120H 26/1200Z 33.0N 70.0W 85 MPH Category 1 (NW of Bermuda)

Previous Warning  1000 AM AST Wed Sep 20 2017

…1000 AM AST POSITION UPDATE…
…CENTER OF MARIA OVER NORTHERN PUERTO RICO…

A weather station near Arecibo, Puerto Rico, recently reported a
sustained wind of 78 mph (126 km/h) and a wind gust of 108 mph (174
km/h).

SUMMARY OF 1000 AM AST…1400 UTC…INFORMATION
—————————————————
LOCATION…18.4N 66.4W
ABOUT 20 MI…30 KM W OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
ABOUT 20 MI…35 KM ESE OF ARECIBO PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…145 MPH…230 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 13 MPH…20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…928 MB…27.40 INCHES

Previous Warning 800 AM AST Wed Sep 20 2017

…EYE OF MARIA LOCATED OVER EASTERN PUERTO RICO…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…18.2N 66.1W
ABOUT 15 MI…30 KM SSW OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…150 MPH…240 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…921 MB…27.20 INCHES

At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 18.2 North, longitude 66.1 West. Maria is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). A west-northwest to northwest motion is expected to continue through today, followed by a northwestward motion on Thursday. On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will continue to move across Puerto Rico this morning and emerge off the northern coast by this afternoon. The center will then pass just north of the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph (240 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and it is forecast to retain this intensity while it moves across Puerto Rico.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km). A sustained wind of 81 mph (130 km/h) with a gust to 109 mph (175 km/h) was recently reported at Yabucoa Harbor, Puerto Rico. A sustained wind of 63 mph (101 km/h) with a gust to 118 mph (190 km/h) was recently reported at Camp Santiago, Puerto
Rico.

A National Ocean Service tide gauge at Yabucoa Harbor recently reported a water level of 5.3 ft above Mean Higher High Water.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 921 mb (27.20 inches).

Previous Warning 900 PM AST Tue Sep 19 2017

900 PM AST POSITION AND INTENSITY UPDATE. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE MARIA APPROACHING ST. CROIX…

A wind gust to 72 mph (117 km/h) was recently reported in the
eastern portion of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

SUMMARY OF 900 PM AST…0100 UTC…INFORMATION
—————————————————
LOCATION…17.1N 64.4W
ABOUT 50 MI…80 KM SSE OF ST. CROIX
ABOUT 145 MI…230 KM SE OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…175 MPH…280 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…909 MB…26.84 INCHES

Previous Warning  800 PM AST Tue Sep 19 2017

EYE OF CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE MARIA MOVING CLOSER TO ST CROIX IN
THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS.

PREPARATIONS AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND RAINFALL
FLOODING AND DESTRUCTIVE WINDS SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

SUMMARY OF 800 PM AST…0000 UTC…INFORMATION

LOCATION…17.0N 64.2W
ABOUT 60 MI…100 KM SE OF ST. CROIX
ABOUT 160 MI…255 KM SE OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…175 MPH…280 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…909 MB…26.84 INCHES

At 800 PM AST (0000 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 17.0 North, longitude 64.2 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will move near or over St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands tonight, cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and then pass just north of the coast of the Dominican Republic Wednesday night and Thursday.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 175 mph (280 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or so, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane as it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Slow weakening is expected after the hurricane emerges over the Atlantic north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140
miles (220 km).

The latest minimum central pressure reported by the Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 909 mb (26.84 inches).

Previous Warning 215 PM AST Tue Sep 19 2017

…HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS THAT MARIA HAS STRENGTHENED…

Recent reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Maria has strengthened above the intensity in the 2 PM AST advisory, with estimated maximum sustained winds of 165 mph (265 km/h).

SUMMARY OF 215 PM AST…1815 UTC…INFORMATION
—————————————————
LOCATION…16.6N 63.6W
ABOUT 110 MI…175 KM SE OF ST. CROIX
ABOUT 140 MI…225 KM W OF GUADELOUPE
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…165 MPH…265 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…920 MB…27.17 INCHES

Previous Warning 200 PM AST Tue Sep 19 2017

POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE MARIA MOVING ACROSS THE
NORTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN TOWARD THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO.

PREPARATIONS AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND RAINFALL
FLOODING AND DESTRUCTIVE WINDS SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST…1800 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…16.6N 63.6W
ABOUT 110 MI…175 KM SE OF ST. CROIX
ABOUT 140 MI…225 KM W OF GUADELOUPE
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…160 MPH…260 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…927 MB…27.37 INCHES

At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 16.6 North, longitude 63.6 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea today, and then pass near or over the Virgin Islands overnight and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane until it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km). During the past few hours, the eye passed just north of NOAA buoy 42060, which reported 1-min average winds of 85 mph (137 km/h) and a wind gust of 94 mph (151 km/h).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 927 mb (27.37 inches). NOAA buoy 42060 reported a minimum pressure of 955.7 mb (28.22 inches) as the eye passed.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND: Hurricane conditions will continue in portions of the hurricane warning area in the Leeward Islands this afternoon, and spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are occuring over the remainder of the Leeward Islands, and should spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico starting in the next several hours. Hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning area
in the Dominican Republic late Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions expected by early Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the tropical storm warning areas in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains and on high-rise buildings could be much stronger than the near- surface winds indicated in this advisory.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11 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 the following rain accumulations through Thursday:

Central and southern Leeward Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
U.S. and British Virgin Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
Puerto Rico…12 to 18 inches, isolated 25 inches.
Northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to Anguilla…4 to 8 inches, isolated 10 inches.
Windward Islands and Barbados…2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches.
Eastern Dominican Republic…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.

Rainfall on all of these islands will 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 condition

Previous Warning 1100 AM AST Tue Sep 19 2017

…POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE MARIA CONTINUES WEST-
NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO…
…PREPARATIONS AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND RAINFALL
FLOODING AND DESTRUCTIVE WINDS SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION…

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…16.3N 63.1W
ABOUT 115 MI…180 KM W OF GUADELOUPE
ABOUT 150 MI…240 KM SE OF ST. CROIX
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…160 MPH…260 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…927 MB…27.37 INCHES

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 16.3 North, longitude 63.1 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea today, and then pass near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane until it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles
(220 km). NOAA buoy 42060, located a little west of the center, recently reported 1-min average winds of 69 mph (111 km/h) and a wind gust of 83 mph (133 km/h).

The minimum central pressure based on data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 927 mb (27.37 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND: Hurricane conditions will continue to spread throughout portions of the hurricane warning area in the Leeward Islands this morning, and spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are occuring over the remainder of the Leeward Islands, and should spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this afternoon and tonight. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area in the Dominican Republic late Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions possible by early Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday.

Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains and on high-rise buildings could be much stronger than the near- surface winds indicated in this advisory.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11 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 the following rain accumulations through Thursday:

Central and southern Leeward Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
U.S. and British Virgin Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches.
Puerto Rico…12 to 18 inches, isolated 25 inches.
Northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to Anguilla…4 to 8 inches, isolated 10 inches.
Windward Islands and Barbados…2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches.
Eastern Dominican Republic…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.

Rainfall on all of these islands will 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 weather office.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 19/1500Z 16.3N 63.1W 160 MPH Category 5 (W of Guadeloupe)
12H 20/0000Z 17.0N 64.1W 160 MPH Category 5 (S of U.S. Virgin Islands)
24H 20/1200Z 18.0N 65.7W 155 MPH Category 4 (SE of Palmas Del Mar, Puerto Rico)
36H 21/0000Z 18.8N 67.1W 145 MPH Category 4 (N of Isabella, Puerto Rico)
48H 21/1200Z 19.6N 68.4W 145 MPH Category 4 (N of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)
72H 22/1200Z 21.5N 70.5W 140 MPH Category 4 (SE of Turks and Caicos)
96H 23/1200Z 24.5N 72.0W 120 MPH Category 3 (NE of Cockburn Town, Bahamas)
120H 24/1200Z 27.5N 72.5W 110 MPH Category 3 (NE of Coopers Town, Bahamas)

Previous Warning 800 AM AST Tue Sep 19 2017

…POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE MARIA HEADED FOR THE VIRGIN
ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…16.2N 62.8W
ABOUT 85 MI…135 KM W OF GUADELOUPE
ABOUT 170 MI…275 KM SE OF ST. CROIX
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…160 MPH…260 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…933 MB…27.55 INCHES

At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 16.2 North, longitude 62.8 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday. On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea today, and approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane while it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to
125 miles (205 km). Sustained tropical storm force winds have recently been reported from Guadeloupe and Antigua.

The minimum central pressure estimated from Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter data is 933 mb (27.55 inches).

Previous Warning 1100 PM AST Mon Sep 18 2017

The Air Force Hurricane Hunters were able to fly a single pass from northwest to southeast through the eye of Maria just prior to 0000 UTC. The aircraft found a peak SFMR wind of 139 kt in the northwest eyewall, i.e. category 5 intensity. Raw objective T-numbers from UW/CIMSS reached as high as T7.3 just before the center moved over land. Based on these data, the initial wind speed was increased to 140 kt on the earlier special advisory, and that intensity is maintained for this advisory, although some slight
weakening may have occurred as the small core of the hurricane passed over Dominica. Since the center has moved over land, the aircraft has not been able to make a second pass through the eye. The aircraft will be in the storm a few more hours and should be able to provide additional center fixes once the eye moves west of Dominica.

Maria is forecast to remain within an environment of low wind shear and over warm water during the next couple of days. Given these favorable atmospheric and oceanic conditions, Maria is expected to remain a Category 4 or 5 hurricane when it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, however some fluctuations in intensity are possible due during the next 24 to 36 h due to eyewall cycles. Land interaction and a slight increase in shear are likely to cause some gradual weakening after Maria moves over the southwestern Atlantic in 3 to 4 days.

Maria is moving west-northwestward or 300/8 kt. A weak ridge located over the western Atlantic is expected to steer the hurricane west northwestward through 48 hours, and on this track the center of Maria is forecast to pass near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. After that time, the western portion of the ridge is forecast to weaken, which should allow Maria to turn northwestward, then north-northwestward by day 5. The track guidance is in good agreement and little change was required to the NHC track forecast through 72 hours. At days 4 and 5, the global model envelope has shifted slightly eastward and the NHC forecast was adjusted accordingly to be in better agreement with the HFIP correct consensus and ECMWF model.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria will affect portions of the Leeward Islands and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands as an extremely dangerous major hurricane during the next couple of days, and hurricane warnings are in effect for many of these islands.

2. Maria is likely to affect Puerto Rico as an extremely dangerous major hurricane, and a hurricane warning is in effect for that island. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

3. The potential for a life-threatening storm surge, accompanied by large and destructive waves, has increased for the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

4. Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides from heavy rainfall are expected across the Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and
the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 19/0300Z 15.5N 61.4W 160 MPH Category 5 (Dominca)
12H 19/1200Z 16.1N 62.6W 160 MPH  Category 5 (W of Guadeloupe)
24H 20/0000Z 17.0N 64.0W 160 MPH  Category 5 (SE of U.S. Virgin Islands)
36H 20/1200Z 17.9N 65.4W 155 MPH  Category 4 (SE of Puerto Rico)
48H 21/0000Z 18.7N 66.9W 145 MPH  Category 4 (N of Puerto Rico)
72H 22/0000Z 20.5N 69.6W 140 MPH  Category 4 (N of Dominican Republic)
96H 23/0000Z 22.8N 71.5W 125 MPH  Category 3 (N of Turks and Caicos)
120H 24/0000Z 25.5N 72.5W 100 115 MPH  Category 3 (E of Bahamas)

Previous Warning  800 PM AST Mon Sep 18 2017

This special advisory is being issued to increase the initial and forecast intensity of Maria.

Recent reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Maria continues to rapidly strengthen. The aircraft measured SFMR winds of 139 kt in the northwest eyewall and an
estimated minimum pressure of 925 mb, based on dropsonde data. Based on these observations, the initial intensity of Maria hasbeen increased to 140 kt, making Maria a potentially catastrophic
category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional strengthening is possible during the next 24 hours, but fluctuations in intensity are likely due to eyewall cycles and land interaction.

No change was made to the previous track forecast, and the extremely dangerous core of Maria is expected to pass over Dominica within the next hour or two.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria will affect portions of the Leeward Islands and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands as an extremely dangerous major hurricane during the next couple of days, and hurricane warnings are in effect for many of these islands.

2. Maria is likely to affect Puerto Rico as an extremely dangerous major hurricane, and a hurricane warning has been issued for that island.

3. The potential for a life-threatening storm surge, accompanied by large and destructive waves, has increased for the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

4. Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides from heavy rainfall are expected across the Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 19/0000Z 15.3N 61.1W 160 MPH Category 5 (E of Dominica)
12H 19/0600Z 15.7N 61.9W 165 MPH  Category 5 (W of Dominica)
24H 19/1800Z 16.5N 63.3W 165 MPH  Category 5 (SW of Montserrat)
36H 20/0600Z 17.3N 64.7W 160 MPH  Category 5 (S of U.S. Virgin Islands)
48H 20/1800Z 18.2N 66.2W 150 MPH  Category 4 (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
72H 21/1800Z 20.0N 69.0W 145 MPH  Category 4 (N of Dominican Republic)
96H 22/1800Z 22.0N 71.5W 140 MPH  Category 4 (N of Turks and Caicos)
120H 23/1800Z 25.0N 73.0W 120 MPH  Category 3 (E of  Bahamas)

Previous Warning 500 PM AST Mon Sep 18 2017

…MARIA BECOMES AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE…
…THE EYE AND THE INTENSE INNER CORE IS EXPECTED TO PASS NEAR
DOMINICA DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS…

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…15.1N 60.7W
ABOUT 45 MI…70 KM ESE OF DOMINICA
ABOUT 35 MI…55 KM NE OF MARTINIQUE
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…130 MPH…215 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…950 MB…28.06 INCHES

At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located by satellite imagery and data from the French radar on Martinique near latitude 15.1 North, longitude 60.7 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move near Dominica and the adjacent Leeward Islands during the next few hours, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea the remainder of tonight and Tuesday, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 to 36 hours, and Maria is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 950 mb (28.06 inches).

Previous Warning 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
———————————————-
LOCATION…14.9N 60.4W
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

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 Wednesday.

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 weather office.

Previous Warning 1100 AM AST Mon Sep 18 2017

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 14.7 North, longitude 60.1 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 Wednesday.

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 959 mb (28.32 inches).

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Maria is undergoing rapid intensification. The aircraft reported 700-mb flight-level winds of 115 kt in the northeastern eyewall, along with reliable-looking surface wind estimates from the Stepped Frequency Microwave radiometer as high as 104 kt. In addition, the estimated central pressure inside the 10 n mi wide eye has fallen to 959 mb. The initial intensity is increased to 100 kt, making Maria a major category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The small eye is also apparent in radar data from Martinique.

The initial motion is 285/9, a little to the left of the previous motion. Other than that, there is little change in either the forecast philosophy or the forecast track. A high pressure area to the north of Maria should maintain a general west-northwestward motion for the next three days or so. After that, the high weakens, which should allow the hurricane to turn gradually northwestward and north-northwestward. The new forecast track is changed little from the previous one, and it calls for Maria to move through the Leeward Islands in 12-24 h, approach the Virgin Islands in about 36 h, then cross Puerto Rico between 48-72 h. The new track lies to the left of the center of the guidance envelope in best agreement with the ECMWF.

Atmospheric and oceanic conditions appear favorable for additional rapid strengthening for the next 24 h and possibly longer. This is reflected in the intensity forecast, which now calls for Maria to become a category 4 hurricane in 12 h and reach a possibly conservative peak intensity of 130 kt in about 36 h. From 72-120 h, land interaction and less favorable upper-level winds are expected to cause some weakening. On top of these general trends, there is also the possibility that eyewall replacement cycles could occur that would affect the intensity. However, Maria is likely to maintain category 3 to 4 intensity through the forecast period.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria will affect portions of the Leeward Islands and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands as an extremely dangerous major hurricane during the next couple of days, and hurricane warnings are in effect for many of these islands.

2. Maria is likely to affect Puerto Rico as an extremely dangerous major hurricane, and a hurricane watch is in effect for that island. A hurricane warning will likely be issued later today.

3. The potential for a life-threatening storm surge, accompanied by large and destructive waves, has increased for the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

4. Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides from heavy rainfall are expected across the Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 18/1500Z 14.7N 60.1W 120 MPH Category 3 (E of Martinique)
12H 19/0000Z 15.1N 61.2W 130 MPH  Category 4 (S of Dominica)
24H 19/1200Z 15.9N 62.6W 145 MPH  Category 4 (W of Guadeloupe)
36H 20/0000Z 16.8N 64.1W 150 MPH  Category 4 (SE of U.S. Virgin Islands)
48H 20/1200Z 17.6N 65.5W 150 MPH  Category 4 (SE of Puerto Rico)
72H 21/1200Z 19.5N 68.5W 145 MPH  Category 4 (N of Dominican Republic)
96H 22/1200Z 21.5N 71.0W 140 MPH  Category 4 (E of Turks and Caicos)
120H 23/1200Z 24.0N 72.5W 125 MPH Category 3 (NE of Turks and Caicos)

Previous Warning 800 AM AST Mon Sep 18 2017)

…HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT REPORTS MARIA INTENSIFYING…
…EXPECTED TO BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE LATER TODAY…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…14.6N 59.7W
ABOUT 85 MI…135 KM E OF MARTINIQUE
ABOUT 120 MI…195 KM ESE OF DOMINICA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…110 MPH…175 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 12 MPH…19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…967 MB…28.56 INCHES

At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 14.6 North, longitude 59.7 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h), and this motion with a 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, and then over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is currently a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria is expected to become a dangerous major hurricane before it moves through the Leeward Islands.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km).

The minimum central pressure estimated from the Hurricane Hunter aircraft data is 967 mb (28.56 inches).

Previous Warning 1100 PM AST Sun Sep 17 2017

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft received just after the previous advisory indicated that Maria’s maximum sustained winds had increased to 70 kt. Since that time, a largecentral dense overcast with cloud tops colder than -80C has formed, and data from the radar on Martinique shows 60-70 percent of an eyewall is present under the overcast. Satellite intensity estimates have increased to 75 kt, and that is the initial intensity.

The initial motion is 290/11. The subtropical ridge to the north is expected to steer Maria generally west-northwestward for the next 72 h, with some decrease in the forward speed. After that time, the guidance suggests that the hurricane should turn more toward the northwest as it approaches the western end of the ridge. The track guidance remains tightly clustered, and the new forecast track, which is similar to the previous track, is in best overall agreement with the HFIP corrected consensus and ECMWF models.

Analyses from CIMSS at the University of Wisconsin suggest that Maria is currently experiencing light to moderate southwesterly shear. However, all indications are that the shear should diminish during the next 24-48 h, which should allow steady to rapid strengthening. The Rapid Intensification Index of the SHIPS model forecast better than a 50 percent chance of 25-30 kt of strengthening during the next 24 h, and about a 35 percent chance
of 55 kt of strengthening during the next 48 h. Based on this, the intensity forecast has been increased to show Maria becoming a major hurricane in 24 h and a category 4 hurricane in 48 h. Late in the forecast period, a combination of land interaction and increasing shear should cause some weakening. The new intensity forecast is near the upper edge of the guidance in best overall agreement with the HWRF.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria continues to strengthen and is expected to be at major hurricane intensity when it affects portions of the Leeward Islands over the next few days, bringing dangerous wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards. Hurricane and tropical storm warnings have been issued for portions of the Leeward Islands, and these warnings will likely be extended northward and westward on Monday.

2. Maria is likely to affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid week as a dangerous major hurricane. Hurricane watches have been issued for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and could be extended to Puerto Rico early Monday. Interests in these areas should monitor the progress of Maria and follow any advice given by local officials.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 18/0300Z 14.2N 58.4W 85 MPH Category 1 (NE of Saint Lucia)
12H 18/1200Z 14.7N 59.8W 100 MPH Category 2 (E of Martinique)
24H 19/0000Z 15.4N 61.2W 115 MPH Category 3 (NE of Dominica)
36H 19/1200Z 16.2N 62.6W 125 MPH  Category 3 (NW of Guadeloupe)
48H 20/0000Z 16.9N 63.9W 130 MPH Category 4 (SE of U.S. Virgin Islands)
72H 21/0000Z 18.5N 67.0W 140 MPH Category 4 (Isabella, Puerto Rico)
96H 22/0000Z 20.0N 69.5W 130 MPH Category 4 (NE of  Dominican Republic)
120H 23/0000Z 22.0N 71.5W 120 MPH  Category 3 (NE of Turks and Caicos)

Previous Warning 800 PM AST Sun Sep 17 2017

SUMMARY OF 800 PM AST…0000 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…14.0N 57.9W
ABOUT 125 MI…200 KM ENE OF BARBADOS
ABOUT 255 MI…410 KM ESE OF DOMINICA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…80 MPH…130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 15 MPH…24 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…982 MB…29.00 INCHES

At 800 PM AST (0000 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located by the French radar on Martinique near latitude 14.0 North, longitude 57.9 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands Monday night and then over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria could be near major hurricane intensity when it moves across the Leeward Islands Monday night.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 982 mb (29.00 inches).

Previous Warning 200 PM AST Sun Sep 17 2017

At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 13.6 North, longitude 56.9 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands Monday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria is expected to become a hurricane later today or tonight.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 994 mb (29.36 inches).

Previous Warning 1100 AM AST Sun Sep 17 2017

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 13.5 North, longitude 56.2 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands Monday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria is expected to become a hurricane later today.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 994 mb (29.36 inches).

Previous Warning 800 AM AST Sun Sep 17 2017

…MARIA EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE LATER TODAY…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…13.3N 55.6W
ABOUT 410 MI…655 KM ESE OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…65 MPH…100 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 15 MPH…24 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…994 MB…29.36 INCHES

At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 13.3 North, longitude 55.6 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion with a further reduction in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will be near the Leeward Islands Monday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria will likely become a hurricane later today.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 994 mb (29.36 inches).

Previous Warning 800 PM AST Sat Sep 16 2017

At 800 PM AST (0000 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 12.4 North, longitude 53.0 West. Maria is moving toward the west near 19 mph (30 km/h). A slower west-northwestward motion is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, Maria is expected to approach the Leeward Islands on Monday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours, and Maria is forecast to be a hurricane when it approaches the Leeward Islands
early next week.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 mb (29.59 inches).

Previous Warning 200 PM AST Sat Sep 16 2017

…DISTURBANCE BECOMES A TROPICAL DEPRESSION…

SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST…1800 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…11.9N 51.6W
ABOUT 695 MI…1120 KM ESE OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…35 MPH…55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 280 DEGREES AT 20 MPH…30 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1006 MB…29.71 INCHES

At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Depression Fifteen was centered near latitude 11.9 North, longitude 51.6 West. The depression is moving toward the west near 20 mph (30 km/h). A slower west-northwest motion is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the system is expected to approach the Leeward Islands on Monday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours. The depression  is forecast to become a tropical storm later today and could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Leeward Islands.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb (29.71 inches).

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