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MARIA MAINTAINS 175 MPH WINDS

MARIA MAINTAINS 175 MPH WINDS

September 19, 20172733Views

At 11:00 P.M., the centre of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 17.3 degrees North, longitude 64.7 degrees West or about 30 miles South-South East 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.

A west-northwest to northwest motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night, followed by a north-westward motion on Thursday.

On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will move near or over St. Croix in the U.S Virgin Islands within the next couple of hours then 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 could occur before the hurricane reaches Puerto Rico but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane as it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Reports from reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the area of hurricane-force winds has increased in size.  Hurricane-force winds now extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 909 millibars.

WIND: Tropical storm and hurricane conditions are occurring over the Virgin Islands and will spread over Puerto Rico overnight.

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.

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

RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce additional rain accumulations of 8-12 inches and isolated 16 inches through Friday.

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. 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.