Hurricane Maria Hitting Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos Islands are dealing with hurricane-force winds, flooding rains, and storm surge from Hurricane Maria.  As of 8:30 CDT Friday, Maria is a category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds.  The eye of the storm is passing north of the Turks and Caicos, but close enough that winds above hurricane force of 74 mph are hitting the islands.  Storm surge is expected to be 6-9 feet and flooding rains of 8-16 inches are likely.

Trailing rain bands from Maria continue are still producing flash floods in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  Another 3-6 inches of rain could fall on those islands today.

Maria has begun a northward turn that will move it into cooler water.  Most computer model forecasts and the National Hurricane Center’s track forecast project that Maria will weaken to a category 1 storm as it moves between the east coast of the US and the island of Bermuda over the next 5 days.  Beyond that, the most likely scenario is that Maria will curve eastward into the Atlantic, but there remains a small chance that Maria could brush the US mainland.

Elsewhere in the tropics, Jose has lost its tropical characteristics but still has 45 mph winds in spots–mostly offshore.  What’s left of Jose will drift around off the Eastern Seaboard until it dissipates entirely in a few days.  No other tropical systems are likely to form in the next few days.

John Nodar

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