At this time there is a strict curfew in place on Sint Maarten/Saint Martin that calls for all citizens to stay indoors until further notice.
Hurricane Maria has already torn a path across Dominica and Guadeloupe, and is now heading towards the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It’s current path has the eye passing 90 miles south of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. A hurricane watch remains in effect for SXM, along with a tropical storm warning, until further notice. The full impact of the storm should be felt within the next few hours.
There were a number of posts across social media showing the storm as it hit Dominica and some of the damage afterwards. It’s now a question of when will this string of deadly, destructive storms end. Is this the last one or will there be more?
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) September 19, 2017
— Di Owner? (@RMunroe_17) September 19, 2017
— #طقس_العالم (@severe_storms) September 19, 2017
Here’s the text of the latest advisory statement by the National Hurricane Center:
Hurricane Maria Advisory Number 14
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017
1100 AM AST Tue Sep 19 2017
…POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE MARIA CONTINUES WEST-
NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO…
…PREPARATIONS AGAINST LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND RAINFALL
FLOODING AND DESTRUCTIVE WINDS SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION…
SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST…1500 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 115 MI…180 KM W OF GUADELOUPE
ABOUT 150 MI…240 KM SE OF ST. CROIX
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…160 MPH…260 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…927 MB…27.37 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Antigua and Barbuda
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
* Isla Saona to Puerto Plata
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* West of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haiti
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and
property should be rushed to completion.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before
the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds,
conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Interests elsewhere in Hispaniola, the southeastern Bahamas, and
the Turks and Caicos Islands should monitor the progress of Maria.
Additional watches and warnings may be required today.
For storm information specific to your area in the United States,
including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor
products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast
office. For storm information specific to your area outside the
United States, please monitor products issued by your national
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located
near latitude 16.3 North, longitude 63.1 West. Maria is moving
toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this general
motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night. On the
forecast track, the eye of Maria will move over the northeastern
Caribbean Sea today, and then pass near or over the Virgin Islands
and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher
gusts. Maria is a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane on
the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in
intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Maria is
forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5 hurricane
until it moves near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles
(220 km). NOAA buoy 42060, located a little west of the center,
recently reported 1-min average winds of 69 mph (111 km/h) and a
wind gust of 83 mph (133 km/h).
The minimum central pressure based on data from an Air Force Reserve
Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 927 mb (27.37 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Hurricane conditions will continue to spread throughout
portions of the hurricane warning area in the Leeward Islands this
morning, and spread into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico tonight
and Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are occuring over the
remainder of the Leeward Islands, and should spread into the Virgin
Islands and Puerto Rico this afternoon and tonight. Hurricane
conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area in the
Dominican Republic late Wednesday, with tropical storm conditions
possible by early Wednesday. Tropical storm conditions are possible
in the tropical storm watch area in the Dominican Republic on
Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains
and on high-rise buildings could be much stronger than the near-
surface winds indicated in this advisory.
STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and
destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 7 to 11
feet above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area near
where the center of Maria moves across the Leeward Islands and the
British Virgin Islands.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause
normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters
moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to reach
the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the
time of high tide…
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands…6 to 9 ft
The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to
the north and east of the landfall location, where the surge will be
accompanied by large and destructive waves. Surge-related
flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal
cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information
specific to your area, please see products issued by your local
National Weather Service forecast office.
RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce the following rain
accumulations through Thursday:
Central and southern Leeward Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20
U.S. and British Virgin Islands…10 to 15 inches, isolated 20
Puerto Rico…12 to 18 inches, isolated 25 inches.
Northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to Anguilla…4 to 8 inches,
isolated 10 inches.
Windward Islands and Barbados…2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches.
Eastern Dominican Republic…4 to 8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
Rainfall on all of these islands will cause life-threatening flash
floods and mudslides.
SURF: Swells generated by Maria are affecting the Lesser Antilles.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip
current conditions. Please consult products from your local