Strengthening Hurricane Maria closes in on Leeward Islands

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 18, CMC – Hurricane Maria was rapidly intensifying into a major hurricane with weather forecasters predicting that the eye of the storm would move through the Leeward Islands later on Monday.

In its 11.00 am (local time) weather bulletin, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that the Category 3 storm moving towards the west-northwest near 10 miles per hour (mph) and this motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday night.

Mariai“On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands late today and tonight, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea Tuesday and Tuesday night, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Wednesday,” the NHc said.

Hurricane Maria, which is coming less than two weeks after Hurricane Irma swept through the Leeward Islands killing more than 40 people and causing millions of dollars in damages, is now located about 60 miles east of Martinique and 95 miles, east south east of Dominica.

It has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and NHC said “additional rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

“Maria is expected to be a dangerous major hurricane as it moves through the Leeward Islands and the northeastern Caribbean Sea,” the NHC said, warning that hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

A Hurricane warning is in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat , St. Lucia and Martinique, while a hurricane watch has been issued for Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands,  British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy and Anguilla

A Tropical Storm warning is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Saba and St. Eustatius while

Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been placed under a tropical storm watch.

The regional airline, LIAT, has announced the cancellation of 23 flights for Monday in the wake of the hurricane. It said most of the cancel flights are between St Vincent to St Lucia, Antigua, Dominica and St Kitts.

Dominica and St. Lucia have already announced a close down of businesses, schools and other non-essential services while in St. Kitts-Nevis, banks have advised customers that they would be closing from midday.

NHC warned that hurricane conditions are first expected within portions of the Leeward Islands by late Monday, with tropical storm conditions beginning during the day.

It said hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Tuesday, with tropical storm conditions possible tonight.  Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area through tonight.

Hurricane Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of six to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches across the central and southern 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 two to four inches with isolated maximum amounts of eight inches over the remaining northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to Anguilla, as well as the Windward Islands and Barbados.  Rainfall on all of these islands could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” NHC added.

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The Montserrat Reporter - August 18, 2017

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by STAFF WRITER
 

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Sept 18, CMC – Hurricane Maria was rapidly intensifying into a major hurricane with weather forecasters predicting that the eye of the storm would move through the Leeward Islands later on Monday.

In its 11.00 am (local time) weather bulletin, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that the Category 3 storm moving towards the west-northwest near 10 miles per hour (mph) and this motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday night.

Mariai“On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands late today and tonight, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea Tuesday and Tuesday night, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Wednesday,” the NHc said.

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Hurricane Maria, which is coming less than two weeks after Hurricane Irma swept through the Leeward Islands killing more than 40 people and causing millions of dollars in damages, is now located about 60 miles east of Martinique and 95 miles, east south east of Dominica.

It has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and NHC said “additional rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

“Maria is expected to be a dangerous major hurricane as it moves through the Leeward Islands and the northeastern Caribbean Sea,” the NHC said, warning that hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.

A Hurricane warning is in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat , St. Lucia and Martinique, while a hurricane watch has been issued for Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands,  British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy and Anguilla

A Tropical Storm warning is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Saba and St. Eustatius while

Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been placed under a tropical storm watch.

The regional airline, LIAT, has announced the cancellation of 23 flights for Monday in the wake of the hurricane. It said most of the cancel flights are between St Vincent to St Lucia, Antigua, Dominica and St Kitts.

Dominica and St. Lucia have already announced a close down of businesses, schools and other non-essential services while in St. Kitts-Nevis, banks have advised customers that they would be closing from midday.

NHC warned that hurricane conditions are first expected within portions of the Leeward Islands by late Monday, with tropical storm conditions beginning during the day.

It said hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Tuesday, with tropical storm conditions possible tonight.  Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area through tonight.

Hurricane Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of six to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches across the central and southern 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 two to four inches with isolated maximum amounts of eight inches over the remaining northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to Anguilla, as well as the Windward Islands and Barbados.  Rainfall on all of these islands could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” NHC added.