After making landfall in Dominica last night, Hurricane Maria remains an intense category 5 storm. The hurricane briefly de-intensified to a category 4 last night, but picked up momentum as it barreled along the Caribbean.
Over the next 24 hours, Maria is expected to make landfall over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The Leeward Islands, which were impacted by Irma, may also see heavy wind and rain starting tonight. By Friday, Maria may impact the Turks and Caicos and may even brush along the coast of Hispaniola. Here are Maria’s stats from the NOAA:
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
Here in the U.S., we’re keeping watch as the storm makes its way to the west-northwest. While forecast models still show the storm moving northward due to upper level winds from the west and Hurricane Jose, it’s too soon to tell what Maria’s exact path will be.