Tropical Storm Maria strengthens into hurricane

Tropical Storm Maria strengthens into hurricane”

In fact, over the next few days, Maria is expected to hit the Leeward Islands causing heavy rains, storm surge along with torrential winds over the region.

The National Hurricane Center published the following wind forecast in the 11pm update on Sunday September 17th, 2017. Now a Category 5 hurricane with winds at 160 miles per hour as it takes aim for already battered Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico, schools were already closed for Monday, government workers were told to work just half a day, and 450 shelters capable of housing 67,000 people - and nearly twice that in a dire emergency - were being prepared.

Hurricane Maria Becomes Stronger Near Irma: Also, Hurricane Mania centers at 255 miles east-southeast of Dominica and heads towards the west-northwest at 15 mph. A hurricane warning is in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, and Martinique - and hurricane watches have been issued for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, and Anguilla.

The hurricane center also issued a tropical storm watch for portions of the USA mid-Atlantic and New England coast by Tuesday as a second hurricane, Jose, moved slowly north from its position in the Atlantic Ocean about 315 miles (510 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said starting midday Tuesday, conditions will begin to deteriorate and the island could get between 12 and 18 inches of rain.

"Let us take it seriously and use the time that we have to prepare ourselves adequately", he told a news conference.

Maria is one of three storms churning in the Atlantic Ocean, but it poses the most danger to the hurricane-battered Caribbean. All schools and non-essential public services were closed.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). The current cone of concern has islands as far south as Martinique and as far north as Barbuda included in it between Monday afternoon and Tuesday night.

"Lee, at least, shouldn't be an issue for us", Samuhel said.

The most southerly point of the Leeward Islands - where Maria will first strike - include Antigua and Barbuda. Gov. Ricardo Rossello has been leading preparations in the USA territory. A hurricane hunter plane is schedule to fly into the storm about 11:30 p.m. and could find stronger winds, they said.

US President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico for federal assistance to augment the territory's storm-response initiatives. And the government officials prepare the shelters for all the people near the flood areas and near the islands where they can accommodate almost 68,000 people.

Risky swells from Jose are affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas and much of the USA east coast, creating unsafe rip currents and surf conditions.

A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 36 hours within the warning area.

Hurricane Jose, winds of 90 miles per hour and moving north at 9 miles per hour.

A second hurricane, Jose, is also active in the Atlantic, with maximum sustained winds of 90mph.

In the Pacific, Tropical Storm Norma's threat to Mexico's Los Cabos resort area at the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula seemed to ease as forecasters said the storm's center was likely to remain offshore. The Baja California Sur state government prepared storm shelters and canceled classes for Monday.

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