Science

Puerto Rico Evacs Ordered As Hurricane Maria Becomes Category Four

Puerto Rico Evacs Ordered As Hurricane Maria Becomes Category Four

Maria was about 445km miles east-southeast of the Leeward island of Dominica, with maximum sustained winds of 100km/h at 4pm (8pm GMT), the US National Hurricane Centre said.

Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria could be near major hurricane intensity when it moves across the Leeward Islands Monday night.

The latest forecast by the meteorologists for Hurricane Jose is that the storm continues to move along the East Coast, with its most anticipated impact on New England by the mid-week. A hurricane warning is now in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat. However, they add that "Maria is forecast to remain an extremely unsafe Category 4 or 5 hurricane while it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico". A run of the European model, which reliably tracked Irma, takes the storm toward Florida.

Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour and this motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Tuesday. It could bring rain and wind to the Northeastern U.S. early next week.

On Sunday, Hurricane Hunter planes recorded the wind speed in Maria at about 63 knots, or about 72 miles per hour, roughly on the border between a tropical storm and a hurricane.

But Maria is one to watch as it becomes a major hurricane, taking aim today at areas already ravaged last week by Hurricane Irma. If Maria strikes the island as forecast, it will be "more risky than Hugo and Georges", the Centre said.




Puerto Rico remains nearly directly in the middle of the forecast cone for Wednesday and Thursday. Its Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has declared a state of emergency as Maria is expected to hit the Caribbean island on Wednesday.

St Lucia, Antigua and Irma-ravaged Barbuda are on a warnings for winds of tropical storm strength.

"May you continue to be resilient and united as we work together to ensure we're prepared for the storm and ready to continue the rebuilding efforts once it has passed", he said.

Lee, the third storm in the Atlantic, fizzled from a tropical storm to a tropical depression Sunday, the hurricane center said.

On Sunday, the US National Hurricane Center said it expected the bad weather created by the depression to subside nearly entirely by Tuesday.


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