Weather watchers keep eye on Hurricane Maria churning toward East Coast

Casey Dawson
September 19, 2017

The US National Hurricane Centre said Maria had maximum sustained winds of 150 kph early on Monday.

As it crosses the Leeward Islands later Monday through the night, Maria is expected to gather steam.

"It's time to wrap up your preparations now, Puerto Rico", CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said. By Wednesday, Maria could make landfall on the south shore of Puerto Rico as a Category 3 or 4 storm. "We'll be far enough away from it that the more direct impacts will be felt across extreme southeast New England and not over the NY area".

The state Transportation Department said in a Facebook post Monday that the affected areas encompass Pea Island, Rodanthe, Avon and Hatteras village on Hatteras Island. National Weather Service in San Juan.

"I'm hoping that Maria doesn't come, but I don't know", said Alexander, 22.

Governor Ricardo Rossello said officials had prepared about 450 shelters with a capacity for almost 68,000 people - or even 125,000 in an emergency.

Gusty winds of at least 50 miles per hour, with rain, are projected for Tuesday and Wednesday, which could cause flight delays. It is headed west-northwest at about 12 miles per hour.

Cape Gears Up for Jose
Cape Gears Up for Jose

By Monday night or Tuesday, Hurricane Maria may affect Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy and Anguilla, according to the NHC.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida recently upgraded Maria from a tropical storm to a hurricane during its late afternoon update.

Rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches are possible in the Leeward Islands through Tuesday night, with locally up to 20 inches in some spots. Those islands include Puerto Rico and the USA and British Virgin Islands.

Jose is one of three named storms now active in the Atlantic. Hurricane Jose will likely impact much of the U.S. East Coast this week with heavy surf, rip currents, and heavy rain/tropical storm force winds in certain areas.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose was moving north Monday morning at about 9 miles per hour, which could make it a threat later in the week to northeastern states, the center said.

Rain: Jose is expected to drop 3 to 5 inches of rain over eastern Long Island, southeast CT, southern Rhode Island and southeast MA, including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket through Wednesday.

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