5 p.m. update: Powerful Hurricane Maria doubles in strength

Here we are with the latest cone and advisory for Hurricane Maria, now an astonishing category 4. As you might recall, Maria had just reached hurricane status yesterday and has now doubled in strength, says CNN. The warm waters of the Atlantic are a wonderful place to be if you’re a hurricane, and unfortunately, there’s not much to stop Maria from gaining intensity.

maria 9.18 5p

From NOAA/NHC:

…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

 

We also saw a few changes for watches and warnings, including:

  • A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Puerto Rico, Culebra,
    and Vieques.
  • The Meteorological Service of St. Lucia has changed the Hurricane
    Warning for that island to a Tropical Storm Warning.
  • The Government of the Dominican Republic has issued a Hurricane
    Watch from Isla Saona to Puerto Plata, and a Tropical Storm Watch
    west of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haiti
    border.

Over the next few days, Maria is projected to make landfall over Puerto Rico. Tonight, the storm is expected to batter the Leeward Islands as it moves to the west-northwest.

The “good” news? As we’ve discussed earlier, if the high pressure ridge coming from the west manages to draw Maria northward, the coastal U.S. may be spared from the brunt of this major hurricane. However, those in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Bahamas may still face major impacts from this storm.

We’re not out of the woods yet, so stay tuned for further updates — especially if your area has been affected by Hurricane Irma. Make preparations if necessary, listen to your Maria playlist, and stay tuned for more updates.

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