Friday, 20 October, 2017

Hurricane Maria triggers new Caribbean alert

Tropical Storm Maria (AL15) Will Maria follow in Irma's footsteps?
Melinda Barton | 19 September, 2017, 14:47

A unsafe storm surge of at least 6 to 9 feet was expected on the island, NHC said. The eastern end of Cuba and the Bahamas could feel tropical-storm force winds as early as Thursday and Friday if Maria stays on its present path, forecasters said.

Its first landfall is expected in the Leeward Islands late tonight as a category 3 hurricane.

Although several Caribbean islands will feel the effects of Maria, nations like the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba will more than likely skirt the worst of this storm.

Hurricane Maria is expected to intensify into a major hurricane by Tuesday.

A new major hurricane is barreling straight toward Puerto Rico, and it is getting stronger by the hour.

In August 2015, Tropical Storm Erika unleashed flooding and landslides that killed 31 people and destroyed more than 370 homes on the small, mountainous island.

A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for the U. S. Virgin Islands.

Hurricane warnings were posted for the USA and British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Martinique and St. Lucia.

The center of the storm was about 95 kilometers east of Martinique and 150 kilometers east-southeast of Dominica, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Monday. Forecasts warned Maria could bring major damage to both places.

The hurricane strengthened rapidly over the last 24 hours after forecasters declared Maria officially to be a hurricane with winds near 90 mph late Sunday afternoon.

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 - where residents had just started to return after evacuating for Irma - through Wednesday night.

"Rainfall on all of these islands could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides". Maria packed winds of about 160 miles per hour as it moved through the Caribbean Sea.

Another storm, Hurricane Jose, is now lurking farther north in the Atlantic, and is now projected to cause high tides and surf in areas of New England, according to the NHC.