Even though it’s common knowledge that it’s still hurricane season, lasting through November, the thought of anything other than focusing on the cleanup and rebuild efforts underway on the Friendly Island feels like an unnecessary distraction.
Saint Martin/Sint Maarten were spared when Hurricane Jose drifted north of the island with barely a whisper. Unfortunately, there’s still activity churning off the coast of Africa, sending storms barreling towards the Caribbean. Just today it was announced by the National Hurricane Center that Tropical Storm Maria is expected to turn into a hurricane later in the day.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 17, 2017
Saint Martin/Sint Maarten are now under a hurricane watch (read that here). The storm is currently about 450 miles (720 KM) east/southeast of the Leeward Islands moving at approximately 15 mph (24 km/hr). Winds are sustained at 65 mph (100 km/hr).
The projected path of the storm shows Saint Martin/Sint Maarten on the northern edge of the soon-to-be hurricane, with the projected impact sometime during the day on Tuesday.
While it doesn’t appear that Maria has near the strength of Irma, the thought of another storm — big or small — is hard to stomach. The difficulty is only compounded by the fact that Irma hit the island early in the month, with September typically being the most active month for hurricane activity in the Leeward Islands.
I’ll keep an eye on this and provide updates as the storm progresses.