Published: Tue, September 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Hurricane Maria Heads Toward Caribbean

Hurricane Maria Heads Toward Caribbean

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles.

Hurricane Jose is still a category 1 storm with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.

Hurricane warnings have been issued for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and Martinique, AP reported.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours. In fact, hurricane warnings have been issued for portions of the Leeward Islands, and a Hurricane Watch has been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hurricane Maria Heads Toward Caribbean
Hurricane Maria Heads Toward Caribbean

Maria poses a significant threat to the Caribbean, the same areas that were impacted by Hurricane Irma a little over a week ago.

But Hurricane Maria has got a more northwesterly track than Hurricane Irma had, suggesting Florida could fall outside its path.

Hurricane Jose has strengthened with winds of 90 miles per hour and is now moving north at 9 miles per hour.

Rain accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches are forecast across the Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico as well as the USA and British Virgin Islands through Wednesday night.

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The NHC's 5am update said: "Maria is likely to affect the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid week as a unsafe major hurricane". Outer Banks residents and visitors should continue to monitor the storm.

Maria is one of three storms churning in the Atlantic Ocean, but it poses the most danger to the hurricane-battered Caribbean. It is due to be near the Leeward Islands, which stretch from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Dominica, by late Monday, and its wind speed could make it a hurricane at that time, forecasters said.

Another storm, Max, which made landfall on Mexico's Pacific coast as a Category 1 hurricane Thursday night but was later downgraded, has largely dissipated.

Hurricane Jose is traveling toward the East Coast of the United States and could affect an area from North Carolina to New England, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

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At the very least, Maria could be another high surf and rip current generator for the East Coast much like Jose has been.

Tuesday into Tuesday night will see winds Northeast at 20-30 miles per hour, with maybe a gust over 40.

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