HURRICANE MARIA: Category 5 Storm Continues To Strengthen With 175 MPH Max Sustained Winds

By  //  September 19, 2017

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BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Hurricane Maria has strengthened to a dangerous Category 5 with max sustained winds at 175 mph as it approaches Puerto Rico Tuesday night.

National Hurricane Center says Maria is moving to the west-northwest at 10 mph.

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.

The Dominican Republic has issued a Hurricane Warning from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata, while a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued to the west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

STORM SURGE

National Hurricane Center says Maria is moving to the west-northwest at 10 mph. (NHC Image)

A dangerous storm surge is expected with Hurricane Maria as 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 the center of Maria as it moves across the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands are expected to see a 6 to 9 foot storm surge by tonight.

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WIND

Hurricane and tropical storm conditions will continue in portions of the warning area in the Leeward Islands this evening, and spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday.

Tropical storm conditions are occurring over the remainder of the Leeward Islands, and should spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico starting in the next several hours.

The Weather Channel says Hurricane Maria could be a catastrophic strike unlike anything seen in these areas since 1928.

Hurricane Maria has strengthened to a dangerous Category 5 with max sustained winds at 175 mph as it approaches Puerto Rico Tuesday night. (TWC Image)

RAINFALL

The following shows the islands’ expected rainfall totals for Hurricane Maria 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.

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