Tag Archives: Haiti

Isaias Rapidly Intensifies into a Hurricane Southeast of the Bahamas

Former Tropical Storm Isaias rapidly intensified into a hurricane southeast of the Bahamas on Thursday night.  At 11:40 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Isaias was located at latitude 20.3°N and longitude 72.1°W which put it about 70 miles (110 km) east-southeast of Great Inagua.  Isaias was moving toward the northwest at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 995 mb.

Hurricane Warnings were issued for all of the Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, the Ragged Islands, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama Island and Bimini. Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the entire coast of the Dominican Republic, Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti to the northern border with the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet, Florida.

A reconnaissance plane sampling former Tropical Storm Isaias on Thursday night found winds to hurricane force and a decrease in surface pressure.  The core of Hurricane Isaias organized quickly after it moved over the warm water north of the Dominican Republic.  A band of strong thunderstorms wrapped around the western side of the center of circulation.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 30 miles to the northeast of the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 240 miles (390 km) to the north and east of Isaias in the parts of the circulation that were over water.  Thunderstorms near the center of circulations were generating upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical storm and allowed the pressure to decrease.   Brands of thunderstorms were wrapping around the eastern and northern sides of the circulation.

Hurricane Isaias will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Isaias will strengthen on Friday and it could intensify more rapidly once an inner core consolidates.  Isaias could intensify into a major hurricane while it moves over the Bahamas.

Hurricane Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the northwest during the next 36 hours.  It will turn the hurricane more toward the north on the weekend when Isaias reaches the western end of the high pressure system. On its anticipated track Hurricane Isaias will move over the Southeastern Bahamas on Friday morning.  Isaias will move over the Central Bahamas later on Friday and it could approach southeast Florida on Saturday.  Hurricane Isaias could approach the coast of the Carolinas on Monday.  Hurricane Isaias will bring strong winds and locally heavy rain to the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods.  Hurricane Isaias will also generate a dangerous storm surge in the Bahamas.

Tropical Storm Isaias Reorganizes North of Dominican Republic, Watch Issued for South Florida

The circulation around Tropical Storm Isaias reorganized near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic on Thursday afternoon and Tropical Storm Watches were issued for part of the coast of southeast Florida.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located at latitude 19.5°N and longitude 70.6°W which put it about 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.  Isaias was moving toward the northwest at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the entire coast of the Dominican Republic, Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti to the northern border with the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, the Ragged Islands, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama Island and Bimini.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet, Florida.

The low level center of Tropical Storm Isaias moved across the eastern part of the Dominican Republic on Thursday.  The middle and upper parts of Isaias skirted along the east coast of Hispaniola.  The various levels of Tropical Storm Isaias appeared to be reconsolidating near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic just to the east of Puerto Plata.  New thunderstorms were forming near the reorganizing center of Isaias.  Those storms were generating upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical storm and allowed the pressure to decrease.  Brands of thunderstorms were wrapping around the eastern and northern sides of the circulation.  The strongest winds were occurring in the portions of those bands over water.  The circulation around Tropical Storm Isaias tightened up on Thursday.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 240 miles (390 km) to the north and east of Isaias in the parts of the circulation that were over water.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move through an environment favorable for intensification once it moves past Hispaniola.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Isaias will intensify when it moves north of Hispaniola and it could intensify rapidly once an inner core consolidates.  Isaias could intensify to a hurricane on Friday and it could strengthen into a major hurricane during the weekend.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the northwest during the next 36 hours.  It will turn the tropical storm more toward the north on the weekend when Isaias reaches the western end of the high pressure system.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Isaias will move over the Turks and Caicos by Friday morning.  Isaias will move over the the Bahamas on Friday and it could approach southeast Florida on Saturday.  Tropical Storm Isaias could approach the coast of the Carolinas on Monday.  Tropical Storm Isaias will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods.

Tropical Storm Isaias Drops Heavy Rain on Puerto Rico

Tropical Storm Isaias dropped heavy rain on Puerto Rico on Thursday.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located at latitude 17.6°N and longitude 68.5°w which put it about 105 miles (165 km) east- southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.  The center was about 80 miles (130 km) south of Cabo Engano.  Isaias was moving toward the northwest at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands,  the entire coast of the Dominican Republic, Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti to the northern border with the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, the Ragged Islands, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama Island and Bimini.

Bands on the eastern side of Tropical Storm Isaias were dropping heavy rain over parts of Puerto Rico on Thursday morning.  Flash Flood Warnings were in effect for parts of the island.  Isaias was also causing winds to tropical storm force in parts in Puerto Rico.  A station at Yabucoa Tanque de Agua reported a sustained wind speed of 46 m.p.h. (74 km/h) and a wind gust to 56 m.p.h. (91 km/h).  A station at Las Mareas reported a sustained wind speed of 3 m.p.h. (69 km/h) and a wind gust of 54 m.p.h. (87 km/h).

The circulation around Tropical Storm Isaias exhibited much more organization on Thursday morning, although the mid-level center did appear to be displaced to the north of the low level center.  There was a center of circulation but the distribution of thunderstorms was asymmetrical.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the eastern side of Tropical Storm Isaias.  Storms near the center of circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the tropical storm.  Bands in the western half of Isaias consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Northerly winds on that side of the circulation were sinking over the southern part  of Hispaniola and that could have been suppressing the development of thunderstorms in that region.  The circulation around Tropical Storm Isaias was very still very large.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 415 miles (665 km) on the northern side of Isaias.

Tropical Storm Isaias could weaken when the low level center of circulation moves across the eastern part of the Dominican Republic.  The low level circulation will be disrupted by the terrain but it looks like Isaias will pass east of the tallest mountains on Hispaniola.  The mid-level center of Tropical Storm Isaias appears to be passing very close to the eastern end of Hispaniola.  The middle and upper portions of the circulation are likely to remain intact and a new low level circulation could form north of Hispaniola.  Tropical Storm Isaias will move through an environment favorable for intensification once it moves past Hispaniola.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Isaias is likely to intensify when it moves north of Hispaniola and it could intensify rapidly once a new low level center of circulation develops.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the northwest during the next 48 hours.  it will turn the tropical storm more toward the north on the weekend when Isaias reaches the western end of the high pressure system.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Isaias will move across the eastern part of the Dominican Republic today.  Isaias will move over the Bahamas on Friday and it could approach southeast Florida on Saturday.  Tropical Storm Isaias will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the Bahamas.  Flash floods could occur.

Tropical Storm Isaias Develops South of Puerto Rico

Tropical Storm Isaias developed south of Puerto Rico on Wednesday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located at latitude 15.8°N and longitude 67.0°W which put it about 155 miles (250 km) south of Ponce, Puerto Rico.  Isaias was moving toward the west-northwest at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, the entire coast of the Dominican Republic, Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti to the northern border with the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, the Ragged Islands, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama Island and Bimini.

Data from a scatterometer onboard a satellite and observations from a buoy south of Puerto Rico indicated that a distinct center of circulation formed within a large low pressure system over the northeastern Caribbean Sea and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Isaias.  The center of circulation formed about 150 miles (240 km) south of Puerto Rico on Wednesday night.  More thunderstorms were developing near the newly formed center.  Many of those thunderstorms were southeast of the center.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the tropical storm.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were also located on the northern periphery  of the circulation and the strongest winds were occurring in those bands.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 300 miles (485 km) to the northeast of the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force also extended out 130 miles (215 km) to the northwest of the center.  The winds south of the center of Isaias were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 12 hours.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Isaias will get better organized and strengthen during the first half of Thursday.  A portion of the circulation around Isaias will move over Hispaniola later on Thursday.  Mountains on that island will disrupt the circulation and Tropical Storm Isaias will weaken while the center moves over land.

Tropical Storm Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the west-northwest on Thursday.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Isaias will move across Hispaniola on Thursday.  Isaias will cause gusty winds and it will drop locally heavy rain when it moves over Hispaniola.  Heavy rain could cause flash floods.

Tropical Storm Kirk Brings Rain to Lesser Antilles

Tropical Storm Kirk brought rain to some of the Lesser Antilles on Friday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Kirk was located at latitude 13.8°N and longitude 63.6°W which put it about 360 miles (575 km) south-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Kirk was moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.  All Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches have been discontinued.

An upper level trough over the Caribbean Sea is producing strong westerly winds which is blowing over the top of Tropical Storm Kirk.  Those winds are causing strong vertical wind shear, which is causing the strongest thunderstorms to occur on the far eastern side of the circulation.  Bands west of the center of circulation and near the center consist primarily of showers and lower clouds.  The center of circulation is over the eastern Caribbean Sea and the heavy rain is falling hours after the center passed the Lesser Antilles.  Locally heavy rain could cause flash floods in some locations.

Tropical Storm Kirk will move through an environment that will be unfavorable for intensification during the weekend.  Kirk will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  However, the upper level trough will continue cause strong vertical wind shear for the next several days.  Tropical Storm Kirk will likely weaken to a tropical depression or a tropical wave during the next 24 to 48 hours.

Tropical Storm Kirk will move south of a subtropical high pressure system that is over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Kirk in a general west-northwesterly direction during the weekend.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Kirk should stay south of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  Kirk or its remnants could be near Jamaica in a few days.

Chris Strengthens to a Hurricane Southeast of Cape Hatteras

Former Tropical Storm Chris strengthened to a hurricane southeast of Cape Hatteras on Tuesday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Chris was located at latitude 33.7°N and longitude 72.4°W which put it about 205 miles (330 km) east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Chris was moving toward the northeast at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 980 mb.

Hurricane Chris strengthened on Tuesday when it moved northeast of cooler water Chris had mixed to the surface while it was meandering off the coast of the Carolinas.  An eye with a diameter of 30 miles (50 km) formed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in the eastern side of that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Chris.  The strongest rainbands were in the eastern half of the circulation.  Drier air near the western half of the circulation was contributing to the weaker bands in that part of the hurricane.  Storms in the core of the circulation were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the north and east of the hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 20 miles (30 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 95 miles (155 km) from the center.

Hurricane Chris will move through an environment favorable for intensification on Wednesday.  Chris will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  An upper level trough over the northeastern U.S. will produce southwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of the hurricane.  The winds speeds are similar at most levels and they will not generate a lot of vertical wind shear during the next 24 hours.  Hurricane Chris will strengthen on Wednesday and it could intensify rapidly.  Chris will move over cooler water when it gets north of the Gulf Stream and it will start to weaken when that occurs.

The trough over the northeastern U.S. will steer Hurricane Chris toward the northeast.  On its anticipated track Chris will move away from the coast of North Carolina.  Chris could be south of Nova Scotia in about 36 hours and it could be near Newfoundland in several days.

Elsewhere, the remnants of former Tropical Storm Beryl crossed Hispaniola and they were moving toward the southeastern Bahamas.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Former Tropical Storm Chris was located at latitude 20.1°N and longitude 72.6°W which put it about 40 miles (65 km) northeast of Port de Paix, Haiti.  It was moving toward the northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1013 mb.  A reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system on Wednesday if there are signs that it could be reorganizing into a tropical cyclone.

Tropical Storm Chris Develops South of Cape Hatteras, Beryl Nears Lesser Antilles

Tropical Storm Chris developed south of Cape Hatteras on Sunday morning, while Tropical Storm Beryl neared the Lesser Antilles.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Chris was located at latitude 32.9°N and longitude 75.0°W which put it about 160 miles (260 km) south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Chris was nearly stationary.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Thunderstorms developed closer to the center of circulation on Sunday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated former Tropical Depression Three as Tropical Storm Chris.  The circulation of Chris was organizing quickly.  A band of showers and thunderstorms was wrapping around the center of circulation.  Several other rainbands were revolving around the core of the tropical storm.  The bands northwest of the center were weaker because there was drier air in that part of Chris.  The storms near the center of circulation were beginning to generate upper level divergence.

Tropical Storm Chris will remain in an environment favorable for intensification for the next two or three days.  The water in the upper portion of the Atlantic Ocean east of the Carolinas is warmer than normal.  Tropical Storm Chris will be over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  Chris will be southeast of an upper level trough over the northeastern quarter of the U.S. and it will be under a small upper level ridge.  The upper level winds will be weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Chris will continue to intensify and it could strengthen to a hurricane in the next day or two.

Since Tropical Storm Chris is under the small upper level ridge, the steering winds are weak.  Chris may not move much during the next 24 to 48 hours.  Tropical Storm Chris is forecast to linger of the coast of the Carolinas for several days.  Eventually an upper level trough will approach from the west and start to push Chris toward the northeast.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Beryl was nearing the Lesser Antilles on Sunday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Beryl was located at latitude 14.4°N and longitude 57.9°W which put it about 210 miles (335 km) east of Martinique.  Beryl was moving toward the west-northwest at 23 m.p.h. (37 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Dominica and Guadeloupe.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Barthelemy.

Thunderstorms continued to develop near the center of Tropical Storm Beryl on Sunday morning and the weakening trend halted at least temporarily.  Beryl remained a small tropical storm.  Winds to tropical storm force only extended out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center of circulation.  There were several bands of showers and thunderstorms in the eastern half of Tropical Storm Beryl.  The bands in the western half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and low clouds.

Tropical Storm Beryl is forecast to into a region where the easterly winds in the lower levels are stronger.  That would increase the vertical wind shear and make it difficult for the circulation to stay vertically coherent.  Beryl will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  So, there will be enough energy in the upper ocean to support a tropical storm if the wind shear is not too strong.  Tropical Storm Beryl is forecast to weaken when it moves over the eastern Caribbean Sea, but that will depend on how strong the vertical shear gets.

Tropical Storm Beryl is moving south of the subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean which is steering Beryl toward the west-northwest.  A general motion toward the west-northwest is forecast to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Beryl will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe during the next few hours,

Tropical Storm Beryl Weakens East of the Lesser Antilles

Tropical Storm Beryl weakened on Saturday as it move closer to the Lesser Antilles.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of circulation was located at latitude 13.1°N and longitude 54.3°W which put it about 495 miles (795 km) east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles.  Beryl was moving toward the west-northwest at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1005 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Dominica and Guadeloupe.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Martinique, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Barbados and St. Lucia.

Tropical Storm Beryl moved into a region where the easterly winds in the lower level were stronger and the increased vertical wind shear started to blow the lower part of the circulation to the west of the upper part of Beryl.  It also seemed to move into an area of drier air, which caused most of the stronger thunderstorms to weaken.  There was still a well organized circulation in the lower levels, but it weakened on Saturday.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation and on the eastern side of Tropical Storm Beryl in recent hours.  If those storms persist then Beryl could strengthen again, but if they dissipate quickly, then the tropical storm could weaken again on Sunday.

Tropical Storm Beryl will move through an environment that contains factors that are favorable for intensification and other factors that are unfavorable.  Beryl will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It will move through an area where the lower level winds are stronger and so there will be more vertical wind shear.  There will be areas of moister air within a larger area of drier air.  If the recently developed thunderstorms persist on Sunday, then the Beryl could strengthen again.  However, if the storms dissipate in a few hours, then Tropical Storm Beryl could weaken further.  The small size of the circulation means that rapid changes in intensity can occur.

Tropical Storm Beryl was moving south of the subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high was steering Beryl toward the west-northwest and that general motion is forecast to continue for the next several days.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Beryl could reach the Lesser Antilles on Sunday night.  There is a lot of uncertainty about how strong Beryl may be when it reaches those islands.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean Tropical Depression Three spun south of Cape Hatteras.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Depression Three was located at latitude 32.9°N and longitude 75.1°W which put it about 160 miles (260 km) south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  It was nearly stationary.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1014 mb.

Hurricane Beryl Prompts Watches for Lesser Antilles, TD 3 Forms Southeast of Carolinas

The potential approach of Hurricane Beryl prompted the issuance of Watches for some of the Lesser Antilles on Friday afternoon, while at the same time Tropical Depression Three formed southeast of the Carolinas.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Beryl was located at latitude 10.6°N and longitude 47.8°W which put it about 965 miles (1555 km) east-southeast of the Leeward Islands.  Beryl was moving toward the west at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 994 mb.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Dominica.  Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

The circulation of Hurricane Beryl remains very small.  The pinhole is no longer visible on satellite imagery, although strong thunderstorms continue to develop near the center of circulation.  Short narrow bands or showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the core of Hurricane Beryl.  Winds to hurricane force only extend out about 10 miles (15 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center.

Hurricane Beryl will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Beryl will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C.  It is moving south of an upper level ridge.  The ridge is producing easterly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  However, the wind speeds are similar at all levels and there is currently little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Beryl could intensify on Saturday, but the circulation is so small that any increase in wind shear could cause rapid weakening.

The subtropical ridge over the Atlantic Ocean is north of Hurricane Beryl and the ridge has been steering Beryl toward the west.  A motion more toward the west-northwest is forecast during the weekend.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles later on Sunday.  That is the reason why the Watches were issued for some of those islands.  Beryl could still be a hurricane when it gets to the Lesser Antilles, but there is a lot of uncertainty about the intensity forecast because the hurricane is so small.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center designated an area of low pressure southeast of the coast of the Carolinas as Tropical Depression Three.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Depression Three was located at latitude 32.2°N and longitude 73.8°W which put it about 230 miles (370 km) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  It was moving toward the north-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1016 mb.  Tropical Depression Three is forecast to meander off the coast of the Carolinas during the weekend.  It could strengthen into a tropical storm and there is a chance it could intensify into a hurricane next week.

Major Hurricane Maria Moves Slowly Toward the Turks and Caicos

Major Hurricane Maria moved slowly toward the Turks and Caicos on Thursday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Maria was located at latitude 21.0°N and longitude 80.2°W which put it about 65 miles (110 km) east-southeast of the Turks and Caicos.  Maria was moving toward the northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (205 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 955 mb.

Hurricane Warnings were in effect for the Turks and Caicos, the Southeastern Bahamas and the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for portion of the coast from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic to the northern border with Haiti.  Tropical Storm Watches are in effect for the Central Bahamas.

The core of Hurricane Maria reorganized on Thursday as the center moved over the warm water north of the Dominican Republic.  A large eye formed at the center of circulation.  The eye had a diameter of 40 miles (64 km).  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.   Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Maria.  Crossing over Puerto Rico and an eyewall replacement cycle produced a larger circulation.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 160 miles (260 km) from the center.

Hurricane Maria will move through an environment favorable for strong hurricanes.  Maria will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 29°C.  Hurricane Maria will remain in an area where the upper level winds are weak and there is likely to be little vertical wind shear for at least one more day.  The outer portion of the southern half of Hurricane Maria’s circulation is still passing over the Dominican Republic.   Additional friction in the part of the circulation passing over land could reduce the amount of intensification that occurs.  Hurricane Maria is likely to strengthen on Friday and it could reach Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Hurricane Maria is nearing the western end of the subtropical high pressure system which is steering the hurricane toward the northwest.  Maria is entering an area where the steering currents are weaker and the motion of the hurricane slowed on Thursday night.  The numerical models are still forecasting that Hurricane Maria will turn north on Friday when it rounds the western end of the high pressure system.  Hurricane Maria is moving a little farther west than has been forecast and that trend could continue on Friday.  If Hurricane Maria does move farther west than anticipated, then the core of Maria could come very close to the Turks and Caicos and parts of the Southeastern Bahamas.

Even if the center of Hurricane Maria does not pass directly over the Turks and Caicos and Southeastern Bahamas, bands of showers and thunderstorms will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain.  Maria will also cause a storm surge on the coasts of those islands.  If the center of Maria passes directly over them, the hurricane is capable of causing major damage.  The southern part of Maria’s circulation is bringing heavy rain to parts of the Dominican Republic and there is the potential for flash floods.