Bahamas News

MARIA BECOMES A HURRICANE

United States, September 17, 2017 – Miami, FL – ADDITIONAL WARNINGS AND WATCHES ISSUED FOR PORTIONS OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS…

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…INFORMATION ———————————————- LOCATION…13.8N 57.5W

ABOUT 140 MI…225 KM ENE OF BARBADOS

ABOUT 275 MI…445 KM ESE OF DOMINICA

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…75 MPH…120 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 15 MPH…24 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…982 MB…29.00 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS ——————–

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The government of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a Hurricane Warning for St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat. The government of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Antigua and Barbuda. The Hurricane Watch has been discontinued for these islands.

The government of the Netherlands has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Saba and St. Eustatius. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The government of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a Hurricane Watch for the British Virgin Islands.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: A Hurricane Warning is in effect for… * Guadeloupe * Dominica * St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for… * Martinique * Antigua and Barbuda * Saba and St. Eustatius * St. Lucia A Hurricane Watch is in effect for… * U.S. Virgin Islands * British Virgin Islands * Saba and St. Eustatius * St. Maarten * St. Martin and St. Barthelemy * Anguilla

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for… * Barbados * St. Vincent and the Grenadines

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm- force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. 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 within 36 hours. 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 the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of this system. Additional Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches and Warnings will likely be issued tonight or on Monday. For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft near latitude 13.8 North, longitude 57.5 West.   Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands Monday night and then over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday.

Reconnaissance data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts.   Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria could be near major hurricane intensity when it moves across the Leeward Islands Monday night. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km). The minimum central pressure measured by the aircraft is 982 mb (29.00 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND ———————-

WIND: Hurricane conditions are first expected within portions of the Leeward Islands by Monday night, with tropical storm conditions beginning on Monday.   Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Tuesday, with tropical storm conditions possible Monday night.  Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area Monday or Monday night.

STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 4 to 6 feet above normal tide levels near where the center of Maria moves across the Leeward Islands.

RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches across the Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands through Wednesday night. Maria is also expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches for the northern and central Windward Islands. In all the above areas, these rainfall amounts could 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.

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