Hurricane Maria continues its approach on the US Virgin Islands as a very dangerous Category 5 storm! Storm surges in these areas are expected to be 6-9 feet, rainfall totals between 15-18″ which will bring catastrophic flooding, as well as prolonged 160 mph sustained winds! Please seek shelter immediately in preparation for this storm! She has wobbled slightly south from the 8:00am update, due to pass 15 miles south of STX and 45 miles south of STT & STJ!
The Latest from the National Hurricane Center
000 WTNT35 KNHC 191447 TCPAT5 BULLETIN Hurricane Maria Advisory Number 14 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017 1100 AM AST Tue Sep 19 2017 ...POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE MARIA CONTINUES WEST- NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO... ...PREPARATIONS AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND RAINFALL FLOODING AND DESTRUCTIVE WINDS SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION... SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION ----------------------------------------------- LOCATION...16.3N 63.1W ABOUT 115 MI...180 KM W OF GUADELOUPE ABOUT 150 MI...240 KM SE OF ST. CROIX MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...160 MPH...260 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...927 MB...27.37 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY: None. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Hurricane Warning is in effect for... * Guadeloupe * Dominica * St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat * U.S. Virgin Islands * British Virgin Islands * Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * Antigua and Barbuda * Saba and St. Eustatius * St. Maarten * Anguilla * Martinique A Hurricane Watch is in effect for... * Saba and St. Eustatius * St. Maarten * St. Martin and St. Barthelemy * Anguilla * Isla Saona to Puerto Plata A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for... * West of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haiti border A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours. Interests elsewhere in Hispaniola, the southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands should monitor the progress of Maria. Additional watches and warnings may be required today. For storm information specific to your area in the United States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office. For storm information specific to your area outside the United States, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service. DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK ------------------------------ At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 16.3 North, longitude 63.1 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea today, and then pass near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on 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 until it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km). NOAA buoy 42060, located a little west of the center, recently reported 1-min average winds of 69 mph (111 km/h) and a wind gust of 83 mph (133 km/h). The minimum central pressure based on data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 927 mb (27.37 inches). HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ---------------------- WIND: Hurricane conditions will continue to spread throughout portions of the hurricane warning area in the Leeward Islands this morning, and spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are occuring over the remainder of the Leeward Islands, and should spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this afternoon and tonight. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area in the Dominican Republic late Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions possible by early Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains and on high-rise buildings could be much stronger than the near- surface winds indicated in this advisory. STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by 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 where the center of Maria moves across the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands. The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide... Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands...6 to 9 ft The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the north and east of the landfall location, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office. RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce the following rain accumulations 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. Rainfall on all of these islands will 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. NEXT ADVISORY ------------- Next intermediate advisory at 200 PM AST. Next complete advisory at 500 PM AST. $$ Forecaster Beven