NHC: Maria Forecast To Become Major Hurricane As It Moves Near Leeward Islands

By  //  September 18, 2017

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CURRENTLY TRACKING AWAY FROM FLORIDA

At 11 p.m. Sunday night,  Hurricane Maria is moving west-northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds at 85 mph. (Cyclocane image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER) – At 11 p.m. Sunday night,  Hurricane Maria is moving west-northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds at 85 mph.

• LOCATION…14.2N 58.4W
• ABOUT 100 MI…165 KM NE OF BARBADOS
• ABOUT 210 MI…340 KM ESE OF DOMINICA
• MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…85 MPH…140 KM/H
• PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 13 MPH…20 KM/H
• MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…979 MB…28.91 INCHES

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
• Guadeloupe
• Dominica
• St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat
• Martinique

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
• Antigua and Barbuda
• Saba and St. Eustatius
• St. Lucia

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
• U.S. Virgin Islands
• British Virgin Islands
• Saba and St. Eustatius
• St. Maarten
• St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
• Anguilla

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
• Barbados
• St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic should monitor the progress of this system. Additional Hurricane and Tropical storm Warnings may be issued for portion of the Leeward and Virgin Islands on Monday, and Hurricane Watches will likely be issued for Puerto Rico and the nearby islands Monday morning.

At 11 p.m. Sunday night,  Hurricane Maria is moving west-northwest at 13 mph with maximum sustained winds at 85 mph. (NHC image)

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

At 11 p.m., the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 14.2 North, longitude 58.4 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph, 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 Monday and Monday night and then over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea Tuesday and Tuesday night.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph with higher gusts. Rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria is expected to become a major hurricane as it moves through the Leeward Islands.

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

The estimated minimum central pressure is 979 mb (28.91 inches).

High Risk of Rip Currents, Large Swells Continue Along Space Coast On MondayRelated Story:
High Risk of Rip Currents, Large Swells Continue Along Space Coast On Monday

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND: Hurricane conditions are first expected within portions of the Leeward Islands by late Monday, with tropical storm conditions beginning during the day on Monday. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Tuesday, with tropical storm conditions possible Monday night. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area later tonight through Monday night.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 5 to 7 feet above normal tide levels near where the center of Maria moves across the Leeward Islands.

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, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, through Wednesday night. 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, 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.

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