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HURRICANE MARIA CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN…WINDS NOW 175 MPH

HURRICANE MARIA CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN…WINDS NOW 175 MPH

September 19, 20171718Views

At 8:00 P.M., the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 17.0 degrees North, longitude 64.2 degrees West or 60 miles southeast of St. Croix.

Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 miles per hour (mph), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night.

On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will move near or over St. Croix in the U.S Virgin Islands tonight and cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 175 miles per hour (mph) 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 so, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 as it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Slow weakening is expected after the hurricane emerges over the Atlantic north of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 909 millibars.

WIND: Hurricane and tropical storm conditions will continue in portions of the warning area in the Leeward Islands this evening, and spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday.

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.

Tornadoes: Several tornadoes are possible over Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands tonight and Wednesday.

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.

Rainfall: Maria is expected to produce 10 to 15 inches of rainfall across the British Virgin Islands and 20 inches in some areas.

The rainfall could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Surf/Sea: Swells generated by Maria are affecting the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Residents are also urged to monitor the movement of Maria closely.

Please continue to monitor local media stations, DDM’s website (bviddm.com) and Facebook at BVIDDM for regular updates.

Disclaimer: The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may result in the loss of finances, property or life.