Dangerous Hurricane Maria Heads For Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico

posted by Nathalie Rodriguez - 

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).

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At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 16.0 North, longitude 62.3 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 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts.  Maria is a category 4 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.  An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is currently investigating Maria.

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).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 934 mb (27.58 inches).

Nathalie Rodriguez

Nathalie Rodriguez

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