Hurricane Maria threatens weary Caribbean with more destruction By Frank McGurty,Reuters 3 hours ago 2:561:373:421:160:450:371:34 Hurricane Maria: 9/17/17 – 6pm update By Frank McGurty (Reuters) – A second powerful storm in as many weeks was bearing down on a string of battered Caribbean islands, with forecasters saying that Maria had strengthened into a hurricane on Sunday and would intensify before hitting the Leeward Islands on Monday night.Maria was about 275 miles (445 km) east-southeast of the Leeward island of Dominica with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kph) per hour at 5 p.m. ET (2100 GMT), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.”Maria … could be near major hurricane intensity when it affects portions of the Leeward Islands over the next few days, bringing dangerous wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards,” the forecaster said.Maximum sustained winds were expected to accelerate to 120 miles per hour within 72 hours, by which time the hurricane could reach the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory with a weakened economy and fragile power grid.The government of Puerto Rico has already begun preparations for Maria, which is expected to make landfall there on Tuesday, officials said.The storm is moving west-northwest at about 15 miles per hour (24 kph) and is expected to cross the Leeward Islands on Monday night, the NHC said.Hurricane warnings were in place for the French island of Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat, while a hurricane watch was in effect for U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, and Anguilla.A tropical storm warning was in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia and Martinique.Maria is approaching the eastern Caribbean less than two weeks after Irma hammered the region before overrunning Florida. That storm, one of the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic with winds up to 185 miles per hour (298 kph), killed at least 84 people, more than half of them in the Caribbean.The NHS also issued a tropical storm watch for portions of the U.S. mid-Atlantic and New England coast by Tuesday as a second hurricane, Jose, moved slowly north from its current position in the Atlantic Ocean about 335 miles (535 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.The eye of Jose, with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), should remain off the U.S. East Coast, the NHS said.Even so, by Tuesday it could bring tropical storm conditions from Fenwick Island, Delaware, to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and from East Rockaway Inlet on New York’s Long Island to the Massachusetts island of Nantucket.Up to five inches (13 cm) of rain could fall over parts of the area, and the storm could bring dangerous surf and rip currents as well.(Reporting by Frank McGurty; Editing by Richard Chang and Mary Milliken)
Hurricane Maria following Irma’s path View photosA school is repaired in Marigot on the French Caribbean island of Saint Martin after the island was hit by Hurricane Irma earlier this month (AFP Photo/Helene Valenzuela)Washington (AFP) – Maria became a hurricane Sunday as it barreled toward the storm-battered eastern Caribbean with 75 mile (120 kilometer) per hour winds, the US National Hurricane Center said, on a path similar to that of mega storm Irma earlier in the month.Storm warnings and watches went up in many of the Caribbean islands still reeling from Irma’s destructive passage.Related SearchesPath Of Hurricane MariaHurricane Maria TrackPath Of Tropical Storm MariaHurricane Maria UpdateHurricane Maria And LeeAs of 2100 GMT, Maria was a Category One hurricane, the lowest on the five point Saffir-Simpson scale, located 140 miles (225 kilometers) northeast of Barbados while bearing west-northwest at 15 miles (24 kilometers) an hour, the NHC said.”On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands Monday night and then over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday,” it said.Hurricane warnings were triggered for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and Martinique.Less urgent ‘watches’ were issued for the US and British Virgin Islands where at least nine people were killed during Irma; French-Dutch island St Martin where 15 people died; Saba and St Eustatius; St Barthelemy and Anguilla.A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the first occurrence of tropical storm-force winds while watches are issued 48 hours in advance.In the French territory of Guadeloupe, authorities announced a „red alert” from Monday with schools, businesses and government offices ordered closed as officials predicted severe flooding in the lower parts of the island and urged people living there to move to higher ground.An official statement predicted wind speeds could pick up to between 150 kilometers to 180 kilometers (90 to 111 miles) per hour, which under the Saffir-Simpson scale would elevate the storm to either Category Two or Three.Meanwhile the French island of Martinique was placed on „orange alert” from Monday with high seas and heavy rain expected to cause flooding. Schools and universities will be closed, authorities said.Tropical storm warnings were in place in Antigua and Barbuda, Saba and St Eustatius, and St Lucia. The tiny island of Barbuda was decimated by Hurricane Irma September 5-6 when it made its first landfall in the Caribbean as a top intensity Category Five storm.- Dangerous storm surges -The NHC said Maria could produce a „dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves” that will raise water levels by four to six feet (1.2 to 1.8 meters) when it passes through the Leeward Islands.It also forecast a maximum potential rainfall of 20 inches (51 centimeters) in the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the US and British Virgin Islands through Wednesday night — conditions that could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.A second hurricane, Jose, is also currently active in the Atlantic and has triggered tropical storm watches for the northeastern United States.Irma left around 40 people dead in the Caribbean before churning east and pounding Florida, where at least 20 people were killed.France, Britain and the Netherlands have been criticized for the pace of relief efforts in their overseas territories amid widespread shortages of food, water and electricity.Hurricane Irma broke weather records when it sustained winds of 295 kilometers per hour (183 miles per hour) for more than 33 hours.Many scientists are convinced that mega storms such as Irma and Harvey before it are intensified by the greater energy they can draw from oceans that a warming as a result of global climate change.
Hurricane Jose to maintain strength as it moves north: NHC(Reuters) – Hurricane Jose is likely to maintain its intensity as it moves northward, bringing surf and rip currents along the east coast of the United States, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Sunday.The hurricane is about 395 miles (640 km) west of Bermuda, packing maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 km per hour) at present, the NHC said, adding that the center of the storm is forecast to pass well offshore of the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Monday.(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)