At 11:00 a.m., the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 16.3 degrees North, longitude 63.1 degrees West or about 150 miles 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.
On the forecast track, the eye of Maria will move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea today, and then pass near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 160 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 two, but Maria is forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane until it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.
The minimum central pressure based on data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 927 millibars.
Hurricane conditions will spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight and Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions should spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this afternoon and tonight.
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.
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.
Swells generated by Maria 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.