Friday 29 May, 2020

Maria now a Category 5 hurricane

Hurricane Maria has strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 storm.

According to the US National Hurricane Center, Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft data indicate Hurricane Maria has intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum winds of 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts.

The eye of the potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane and its intense inner core is nearing Dominica.

At 8:00 p.m., the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 15.3 North, longitude 61.1 West. This is about 15 miles (25 km) east southeast of Dominica and about 40 miles (70 km) north of Martinique.

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 core of Maria will move near Dominica and the adjacent Leeward Islands during the next few hours, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea the remainder of tonight and Tuesday, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts.  Maria is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some additional strengthening is possible tonight, but some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure based on Air Force Hurricane Hunter data is 925 mb (27.32 inches).

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

* St. Lucia

* 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...

* St. Vincent and the Grenadines

* West of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haiti border

 

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