Hurricane Maria

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This article is about the Atlantic hurricane of 2017. For other storms of the same name, see Tropical Storm Maria.
Hurricane Maria 5
Maria Geostationary VIS-IR 2017.png
Satellite image

15L 2017 5day.png
Forecast map
Current storm status
Category 5 hurricane (1-min mean)
As of: 9:00 p.m AST (00:00 UTC) September 19
Location: 15°18′N 61°12′W / 15.3°N 61.2°W / 15.3; -61.2 (Hurricane Maria) ± 15 nm

About 5 mi (10 km km) SE of Dominica
About 35 mi (55 km) N of Martinique

Winds: 140 kn (160 mph; 260 km/h) sustained (1-min mean)
gusting to 170 kn (195 mph; 315 km/h)
Pressure: 924 mbar (hPa; 27.29 inHg)
Movement: WNW at 8 kn (9 mph; 15 km/h)
See more detailed information.

Hurricane Maria is currently an extremely powerful tropical cyclone making landfall on Dominica and threatening the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. The thirteenth named storm, seventh hurricane, fourth major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the unusually active 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Maria formed on September 16 out of a tropical wave that was monitored by the National Hurricane Center starting on September 14. It is the third major hurricane in a row to threaten the Leeward Islands with a direct strike or major impacts within two weeks, after Hurricane Irma caused catastrophic damage there and Jose, then a Category 4 hurricane, passed dangerously close just days after. At 23:30 UTC on September 18, Maria strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane, therefore making the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season the first since 2007 to feature two Category 5 hurricanes, and one of only six Atlantic hurricane seasons to feature two or more Category 5 hurricanes, as well as only the second (after 2007) to feature two hurricanes making landfall at Category 5 intensity.

Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and intensity of the storm according to the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) began monitoring two tropical waves on September 13.[1] The easternmost one would quickly spin up into what would be Tropical Storm Lee, while the western one continued moving generally to the west. With generally favorable conditions in the disturbance's path, development into a tropical cyclone seemed likely.[2] The disturbance became better organized throughout the two days,[3] and by 15:00 UTC on September 16, the rate of organization was enough to classify the system as a potential tropical cyclone.[4] As the disturbance continued to grow increasingly well-defined throughout the course of the day, it was later upgraded to a moderate-range tropical storm – based on satellite estimates – at 21:00 UTC that day, receiving the name Maria.[5] A central dense overcast (CDO) developed atop the center of circulation, which enabled Maria to become further organized throughout the early morning hours of September 17.[6] Later that day, it was upgraded to a hurricane, based on reports from Hurricane Hunters that were investigating the storm.[7][8][9] Shortly thereafter, Maria explosively intensified, with winds doubling from 80 mph (130 km/h) to 160 mph (260 km/h) in a 24-hour period, and the pressure decreasing from 982 mbar (hPa; 29.00 inHg) to 925 mbar (hPa; 28.23 inHg).[10]

Current storm information

As of 9:00 p.m AST September 18 (00:00 UTC September 19), Hurricane Maria was located within 10 nautical miles of 15°18′N 61°12′W / 15.3°N 61.2°W / 15.3; -61.2 (Maria), about 15 miles (25 km) east-southeast of Dominica, and about 40 miles (70 km) north of Martinique. Maximum sustained winds are 140 knots (160 mph; 260 km/h), a Category 5 on the Saffir–Simpson scale, with gusts to 170 knots (195 mph; 315 km/h). The minimum barometric pressure is 924 millibars (hPa; 27.29 inHg). The system is moving west-northwestward at 8 knots (9 mph; 15 km/h). Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center of Maria, and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 125 miles (205 km) from the center.

For latest official information, see:

Watches and warnings

Hurricane Warning
Hurricane conditions
expected within 36 hours.
Hurricane Watch
Hurricane conditions
possible within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning
Tropical storm conditions expected within 36 hours.
Tropical Storm Watch
Tropical storm conditions possible within 48 hours.

Preparations

Upon the initiation of the National Hurricane Center (NHC)'s first advisories for the system that would become Tropical Storm Maria on the morning of September 16, the government of France issued Tropical Storm watches for the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, while St. Lucia issued a Tropical Storm watch for its citizens, and the government of Barbados issued a similar watch for Dominica.[11] Barbados would later that day declare a Tropical Storm watch for its citizens and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.[12] The government of Antigua and Barbuda issued Hurricane watches for the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat by the time of the NHC's second advisory which declared Maria a Tropical Storm.[13][14] Evacuation orders were issued in Puerto Rico in advance of Maria, and officials announced that 450 shelters would be opened beginning during the afternoon of September 18.[15]

See also

References

  1. Brennan, Michael (September 13, 2017). "Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  2. Blake, Eric (September 14, 2017). "Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  3. Blake, Eric (September 15, 2017). "Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  4. Cangialosi, John (September 16, 2017). "Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen Discussion Number 1". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  5. Cangialosi, John (September 16, 2017). "Tropical Storm Maria Discussion Number 2". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  6. Pasch, Richard (September 17, 2017). "Tropical Storm Maria Discussion Number 4". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  7. Cangialosi, John (September 17, 2017). "Hurricane Maria Discussion Number 6". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 17, 2017. 
  8. Stanglin, Doug (September 16, 2017). "Hurricane Jose ambles off U.S. coast as new Tropical Storm Maria tracks Irma's early path". USA Today. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  9. Lam, Linda; Belles, Jonathan (September 16, 2017). "Tropical Storm Maria Expected to Rapidly Intensify On Approach to the Lesser Antilles; Hurricane Watches Issued". The Weather Channel. Landmark Media Enterprises. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  10. "Hurricane MARIA". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  11. Cangialosi, John (September 16, 2017). "Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen Advisory Number 1". National Hurricane Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  12. Cangialosi, John (September 16, 2017). "Tropical Depression Fifteen Intermediate Advisory Number 1A". National Hurricane Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  13. Cangialosi, John (September 16, 2017). "Tropical Storm Maria Advisory Number 2". National Hurricane Center. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Weather Service. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  14. Porter, Greg (September 16, 2017). "Hurricane Jose lurks off the East Coast, Tropical Storm Maria threatens the Caribbean". The Washington Post. WP Company LLC. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  15. Shapiro, Emily; Hoyos, Joshua; Golembo, Max; Allen, Karma (September 18, 2017). "Hurricane Maria upgraded to 'extremely dangerous' Category 4, islands including Puerto Rico brace for impact". ABC News. 

External links