The Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services has issued a hurricane watch for the British Virgin Islands.
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.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, at 800 PM, the center of Hurricane Maria was located by the French radar on Martinique near latitude 14.0 North, longitude 57.9 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.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph 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 from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105
The estimated minimum central pressure is 982 mb.
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.