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National Hurricane Center Projects That Hurricane Maria Will Pass South of St. Croix As A Category 3 Storm On Wednesday Morning

HURRICANE MARIA’S PROJECTED TIME PATH THRU THE CARIBBEAN REGION AS OF SUNDAY.

SAN JUAN — Tropical Storm Maria formed Saturday in the western Atlantic Ocean, prompting a hurricane watch for areas battered by Hurricane Irma last week.

At 11 a.m., Maria was about 639 miles southeast of St. Croix and is packing maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, with gusts up to 75 mph. The storm is moving west-northwest towards the Lesser Antilles at 19 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center and the 2017 V.I. Freep Storm Tracker.

Maria is expected to gain strength and become a major hurricane through the weekend and become a hurricane by late Monday, forecasters said. Tropical storm force winds extend out 70 miles from its center of circulation.

According to NHC Advisory 3A, Hurricane Maria should pass 10 miles south of St. Croix about 3 a.m. on Wednesday with sustained winds of 150 mph as a Category 4 storm, subject to change if the storm wobbles or its forward speed increases or decreases.

Tropical storm watches are posted for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The hurricane watch covers Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Guadeloupe.

That means that areas of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico already devastated by Irma could again be dealing with hurricane conditions again by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Maria joins Tropical Storm Lee, which formed earlier Saturday in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Maria began attracting attention going into the weekend as Invest 96L, then was upgraded to Tropical Depression 15 and then the named tropical storm and hurricane “Maria.”

It was upgraded to Hurricane Maria at 5 p.m. on Sunday with sustained winds of 75 mph.

Lee became Tropical Depression 14 on Thursday and is spinning about 720 miles west-southwest of Cape Verde off northwest Africa and packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, according to the NHC.

Lee isn’t expected to gain much strength over the next 48 hours and will likely fade to a tropical depression by Wednesday without affecting land, the center said.

These new Atlantic systems join Hurricane Jose, a Category 1 storm spinning about 480 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Jose could bring rain and rain and wind to the U.S. Northeast early next week.

Hurricane Hugo struck St. Croix on Sept. 17-18, 1989.


HURRICANE MARIA’S PROJECTED PATH ACCORDING TO THE 2017 V.I. FREEP STORM TRACKER (ABOVE)

 

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

2 Comments

  1. L. Callahan
    September 18, 2017 at 2:22 AM — Reply

    Well done Mr. McCarthy! Keep up the good work! I’m sure you are aware that the Air Force is on there way with cargo-have they arrived? I am anxiously awaiting word from an officer, who is hopefully on board, capturing relief efforts on film. What a trying time for soo many. I just realized that this is the anniversary of Hugo’s arrival. My mother, almost unbelievably, rode that one out on board Dulcinea with her husband, the late Robert Stockel, Asst AG VI. She, to this day, will barely speak of that storm or the aftermath that insued. Talk about PTSD. I have been through two smaller storms- a 2 and a 3, which were plenty for me. The coverage in print and by photo has been heatwrenching. My heart breaks for all of the Caribbean affected. Reporting here on the mainland, as always, has been mostly about the mainland. However, in the past 24 hrs, most all media outlets are abuzz with news out of the VI (alot from the BVI!), which is fine by me too-at least word is getting out, and seemingly the pleas for aide are being answered. I have a guess as to who lit the fire under the US’ ass regarding the lack of coverage and support (and that too, is fine by me) just so you ALL get what you need. I personally have seen both the British and French Govts give their citizens recent updates this evening-impressive! Shewwww. Oh, and, there is a plane sitting in TX, loaded with a half million dollars of donated medical supplies, designated to Peebles which appears grounded over some mumbo jumbo. Can give you a little more info on that if you are interested. From VA, hoping, praying and networking, trying to help in anyway that I can from here, because I can’t get there-yet! May God spare you from a direct hit. Plz feel free to reach me if need be. Lesa

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