Tag Archives: Turks and Caicos

Marco Strengthens to a Hurricane, Laura Drenches Hispaniola

Former Tropical Storm Marco strengthened into a hurricane on Sunday over the Gulf of Mexico while Tropical Storm Laura dropped drenching rain on Hispaniola.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Marco was located at latitude 25.3°N and longitude 87.4°W which put it about 280 miles (450 km) south-southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  Marco was moving toward the north-northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 992 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mouth of the Pearl River, Mississippi.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City, Louisiana to Morgan City and for New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border.

Former Tropical Storm Marco strengthened into a hurricane on Sunday.  A small eye developed at the center of circulation.  A ring of thunderstorms surrounded eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Marco.  Storms near the core generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the northeast of the hurricane.

The circulation around Hurricane Marco was small.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 15 miles (25 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

Hurricane Marco will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 18 hours.  Marco will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level trough over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hurricane Marco.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent Marco from strengthening during the next 18 hours.

The upper level trough and a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean will steer Hurricane Marco toward the north-northwest during the next day or so.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Marco will approach southeast Louisiana on Monday.  Marco will bring gusty winds and drop locally heavy rain over southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Laura dropped heavy rain on the Dominican Republic and Haiti.  There were reports of flash floods.  At 2:00 pm. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Laura was located at latitude 19.4°N and longitude 74.3°W which put it about 80 miles (130 km) southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba.  Laura was moving toward the west-northwest at 21 m.p.h. (33 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 the portion of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Samana to the border with Haiti and for the entire coast of Haiti.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Turks and Caicos, the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, and the Ragged Islands.  Tropical Storm Warnings were also in effect for the Cuban provinces of Las Tunas, Holguin, Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Carla, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Mayabeque, La Habana, Artemisa, Pinar del Rio and the Isle of Youth.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the Florida Keys to the Isle of Youth.  Tropical Storm Watches were also in effect for the Central Bahamas and Andros Island.

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.

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.

Hurricane Maria Moves Away from Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria moved away from Puerto Rico on Wednesday night after causing significant wind damage and serious flash floods.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Maria was located at latitude 19.2°N and longitude 67.9°W which put it about 55 miles (85 km) northeast of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  Maria was moving toward the northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 959 mb.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the Turks and Caicos, the Southeastern Bahamas, and the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.  A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano to Isla Saona, Dominican Republic.  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the portions of the coast from Puerto Plata to the northern border with Haiti and from Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque, Dominican Republic.

Hurricane Maria made landfall on the southeast coast of Puerto Rico near Yabucoa on Wednesday morning.  Maria was a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale at the time of landfall.  Hurricane Maria moved northwest across Puerto Rico and the center emerged over the Atlantic Ocean near Arecibo on Thursday afternoon.

Hurricane Maria weakened as the core of the hurricane moved across Puerto Rico.  The mountains on Puerto Rico disrupted the circulation in the lower levels of Maria, but the middle and upper portions of the circulation remained intact.  Hurricane Maria was in the middle of an eyewall replacement cycle when it made landfall in Puerto Rico.  The timing of landfall may have caused Maria to weaken more than it would have if there had not been an eyewall replacement cycle.  The inner eyewall which contained the strongest winds dissipated at Hurricane Maria moved across Puerto Rico.  The strongest winds are occurring in the remaining outer eyewall.  The eyewall replacement cycle contributed to an increase in the size of the circulation of Hurricane Maria.  Wind to hurricane force extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Wind to tropical storm force extend out about 160 miles (260 km) from the center.

Hurricane Maria will move through an environment favorable for intensification on Thursday.  Maria will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level winds are weak and there is not much vertical wind shear.  It could take another 12 to 24 hours for the lower portions of the circulation to reorganize.   The reorganization could limit the rate of intensification.  In addition the center will pass near the Dominican Republic.  Some of the southern part of the circulation will be over land and that could also limit intensification until Maria moves farther away from Hispaniola.

Hurricane Maria is moving around the southwestern portion of the subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean.  That high has been steering Maria toward the northwest.  Many of the numerical models are forecasting that the high will weaken and Maria will turn toward the north on Thursday.  If the high remains stronger than the models are forecasting, then Hurricane Maria will move farther toward the west.  Hurricane Maria seems to have moved near the left side of the guidance from the numerical models in recent days.  On its forecast track the center of Hurricane Maria will move north of the Dominican Republic on Thursday.  Hurricane Maria could be near the Turks and Caicos on Friday.

Hurricane Maria is still capable of producing extensive significant damage.  Maria will drop heavy rain on parts of the Dominican Republic and there could be flash floods in some places where there is steeper terrain.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Jose move slowly east-northeast southeast of Massachusetts.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Jose was located at latitude 39.5°N and longitude 68.2°W which put it about 150 miles (245 km) southeast of Nantucket.  Jose was moving toward the east-northeast at 6 m.p.h. (9 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were ind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 982 mb.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Woods Hole to Sagamore Beach including Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod.

Category 5 Hurricane Maria Bearing Down on Puerto Rico

Category 5 Hurricane Maria was bearing down on Puerto Rico on Tuesday night.  The eye was very near St. Croix.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Maria was located at latitude 17.3°N and longitude 64.7°W which put it about 30 miles (45 km) south-southeast of St. Croix and about 120 miles (190 km) southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Maria was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 175 m.p.h. (280 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 215 m.p.h. (345 m/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 909 mb.

Hurricane Warnings were in effect for Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and for the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for the Turks and Caicos, the Southeastern Bahamas, Saba, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Eustatius, St. Barthelemy, and the portion of the coast from Isla Saona to Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, the portion of the coast from Puerto Plata,, Dominican Republic to the northern border with Haiti and for the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque, Dominican Republic,

Hurricane Maria is a very well organized powerful hurricane.  It has a small inner eye and a second outer eyewall extends most of the way around the inner eyewall.  The strongest winds are occurring in the inner eyewall.  Additional spiral bands are revolving around the core of the circulation.  The concentric eyewalls have caused the circulation of Hurricane Maria to increase in size.  Winds to hurricane force now extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 160 miles (260 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Maria is 40.4.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 19.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 59.6.  Those indices indicate that Hurricane Maria is capable of causing regional catastrophic damage.

Hurricane Maria will continue to move through an environment favorable for powerful hurricanes until it reaches Puerto Rico.  Maria will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  The upper level winds are weak and there is little vertical wind shear.  If the outer eyewall completely encircles the inner eyewall, then an eyewall replacement cycle could cause some weakening.  Hurricane Maria will weaken more if the center moves directly over Puerto Rico.  The amount of weakening will depend on the stage of the eyewall replacement cycle at the time of landfall.

Hurricane Maria is being steered toward the west-northwest by the subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The western end of the high is forecast to weaken during the next several days.  The weakening of the high will allow Hurricane Maria to move more toward the north.  The core of Hurricane Maria will pass near or over St. Croix during the next few hours.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Maria will reach Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning.

Hurricane Maria is a very dangerous hurricane.  It is capable of causing catastrophic damage.  Maria will also drop very heavy rain over Puerto Rico and there is the potential for significant flash flooding.  Maria could also cause a storm surge of up to 12 feet (4 meters) along the coast.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Jose weakened to a tropical storm east of the U.S.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Jose was located at latitude 37.9°N and longitude 70.8°W which put it about 230 miles (375 km) south of Nantucket.  Jose was moving toward the northeast at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 973 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Woods Hole to Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts including Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of Long Island from Fire Island Inlet to Port Jefferson.

Maria Becomes a Hurricane, Jose Prompts Watches for Northeast U.S.

A reconnaissance plane found that Tropical Storm Maria had intensified into a hurricane as it moved toward the Leeward Islands on Sunday afternoon.  At the same time Hurricane Jose moved farther north and Tropical Storm Watches were issued for the coast of the northeastern U.S.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Maria was located at latitude 13.8°N and longitude 57.5°W which put it about 275 miles (445 km) east-southeast of Dominica.  Maria was moving toward the west-northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 982 mb.

Hurricane Warnings were in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Islands, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, and Anguilla.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Martinique, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbuda, Saba, and St. Eustatius.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

A reconnaissance plane found sustained winds to hurricane force when it investigated Hurricane Maria on Sunday afternoon.  The plane reported a circular eye with a diameter of 32 miles (52 km) at the center of circulation.  The eye was surrounded by an almost complete ring of thunderstorms.  The ring was broken south of the center.  The strongest winds wind occurring in that ring of thunderstorms.  Additional bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing in the eastern half of the circulation.  There were fewer showers and thunderstorms in the western half of Maria.  Hurricane Maria was generating upper level divergence which was pumping away mass and allowing the surface pressure to decrease.

Hurricane Maria will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification.  Maria will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  An upper level low over Caribbean Sea is causing southern winds which are blowing near the eastern side of Hurricane Maria.  Those winds do not appear to be causing significant vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Maria is likely to continue to intensify as it moves toward the Leeward Islands.  Maria could intensify rapidly once a fully closed eye develops.

Hurricane Maria is being steered toward the west-northwest by the subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean and that general motion is expected to continue for several more days.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Maria could reach the Leeward Islands by later on Monday.  Maria could be near Puerto Rico by Wednesday.  Hurricane Maria will affect some of the same islands damaged by Hurricane Irma a few days ago.  Strong winds and heavy rain will significantly impact recovery efforts in those areas.

A reconnaissance plane also found that Hurricane Jose was stronger on Sunday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Jose was located at latitude 31.5°N and longitude 71.8°W which put it about 335 miles (535 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Jose was moving toward the north at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 967 mb.

Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for the portions of the coast from Fenwick Island, Delaware to Sandy Hook, New Jersey and from East Rockaway Inlet, New York to Plymouth, Massachusetts including Long Island Sound, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Hurricane Jose strengthened on Sunday as it moved over water where the Sea Surface Temperature was near 29°C.  An eye appeared at times on visible satellite imagery.  The circulation of Hurricane Jose increased in size which often happens when hurricanes move north out of the tropics.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 290 miles (470 km) from the center.

Hurricane Jose will move through an environment which will be marginal for further intensification.  Jose will move over water which is warm enough to support intensification.  However, an upper level trough over the eastern U.S. is producing southerly winds which are blowing toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds are producing strong vertical wind shear and they could weaken Jose during the next several days.  Jose will be moving over warm water until it gets north of the Gulf Stream.  If the upper level winds slow, then Jose could get stronger.

Hurricane Jose is being steered northward by the subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean and the trough over the eastern U.S.  On its anticipated track the center of Jose is forecast to move toward the northeastern U.S. and turn toward the east before it reaches the coast.  If Jose follows the forecast track, then the core of the hurricane would remain offshore.  However, the circulation of Jose is large enough that even if the center stays offshore, there could still be tropical storm force winds along the coast.

Powerful Hurricane Irma Approaches Bahamas, Watches Issued for Florida

Powerful Hurricane Irma move north of the Dominican Republic on its approach to the Bahamas on Thursday morning.  Hurricane Watches were issued for south Florida because of the potential impact of Hurricane Irma.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Irma was located at latitude 20.4°N and longitude 69.7°W which put it about 120 miles (190 km) southeast of Grand Turk Island and about 785 miles (1265 km) east-southeast of Miami, Florida.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 175 m.p.h. (280 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 200 m.p.h. (320 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 921 mb.

Hurricane Warnings were in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos, the southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana and the Ragged Islands, the central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, the northwestern Bahamas including the Abacos, Andros Island, Berry Island, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island and New Providence.

A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Jupiter Inlet to Bonita Beach, Florida including the Florida Keys and Lake Okeechobee and from Matanzas province to Guantanamo province in Cuba.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Engano, Dominican Republic to the southern border with Haiti, from Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port Au Prince, Haiti and for the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin and Las Tunas.

Hurricane Irma remains a large and dangerous hurricane.  Irma weakened slightly on Thursday morning, but it still was a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  Irma has a large circular eye at the center of circulation.  The eye is surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds are occurring in that ring of storms.  Winds to hurricane force extend out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 185 miles (305 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Irma is 40.4.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 19.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 59.6.  Those indices indicate that Hurricane Irma is capable of causing widespread catastrophic damage.

Hurricane Irma will remain in a favorable environment for the next several days.  Irma will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level winds will be weak and there will be little vertical wind shear during the next 24 to 36 hours.  When Irma gets farther north it will be near the southern end of a large upper level trough over the eastern U.S.  The trough will produce southeasterly winds which will increase the shear somewhat.  Hurricane Irma will remain a large dangerous hurricane.

Hurricane Irma is moving around the western end of a subtropical high over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high is steering Irma toward the west-northwest and that general motion is expected to continue for another 36 to 48 hours.  The effects of the upper level trough are expected to turn Irma toward the north during the weekend.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Irma will reach the Turks and Caicos on Thursday night.  Irma will move across the southeastern Bahamas on Friday and it could be north of Cuba by Saturday morning.  Hurricane Irma could reach southern Florida by Sunday morning.

Hurricane Irma is capable of causing widespread catastrophic damage.  Irma will generate storm surges as high as 19 feet (6 meters) when it passes over the Bahamas.  Irma will cause widespread wind damage and locally heavy rain could cause flash floods.

The destructive core of Hurricane Irma moved over Barbuda, St. Barthelemy and St. Martin.  There are reports of widespread damage on those islands.  Other nearby islands my have also suffered significant damage.

Hurricane Jose is following in the wake of Hurricane Irma and Watches have been issued for some of the northern Leeward Islands.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Jose was located at latitude 14.9°N and longitude 50.6°W which put it about 715 miles (1155 km) east of the Leeward Islands.  Jose was moving toward the west-northwest at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (170 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 986 mb.

Hurricane Watches have been issued for Antigua and Barbuda.  Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis.

Hurricane Jose is moving through a favorable environment of warm Sea Surface Temperatures and little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Jose is forecast to intensify into a major hurricane.  The same subtropical high steering Hurricane Irma is also steering Hurricane Jose.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Jose could reach the northern Leeward Islands on Saturday.  It could be a major hurricane at that time.  If Hurricane Jose moves over some of the same places hit by Hurricane Irma it will serious impede efforts to recover from Irma.

Hurricane Katia is threatening parts of Mexico.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Katia was located at latitude 21.6°N and longitude 94.6°W which put it about 215 miles (345 km) east of Tampico, Mexico.  Katia was stationary.  the maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155km/h)  The minimum surface pressure was 980 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde, Mexico.