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Tropical Storm MARIA (Text)


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Tropical Storm Maria Discussion Number   3
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL152017
1100 PM AST Sat Sep 16 2017

Maria has become a little better organized this evening, with
satellite imagery showing the formation of a small convective area
near the center that may reflect the formation of an inner wind
core. However, this has not yet resulted in intensification, as
various subjective and objective satellite intensity estimates
remain about 45 kt.

The longer-term initial motion is 280/14, while recent satellite
imagery suggests the system may be turning a little more to the
right.  A mid-level ridge to the north of the cyclone is expected
to gradually weaken through the forecast period, which would
allow Maria to move generally west-northwestward with a decrease
in forward speed during the next five days.  The track guidance is
tightly clustered, and the new forecast track is nudged only
slightly to the left of the previous track based on the initial
location.  The forecast continues to take the core of Maria near the
Leeward Islands in 48 to 72 hours, close to the Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico in about 96 hr, and near eastern Hispaniola at about
120 h.

Maria is expected to remain in an environment of good moisture,
light shear, and warm sea surface temperatures for at least the
next 4 days.  This should result in steady to rapid intensification.
The new intensity forecast is similar to the previous forecast in
calling for Maria to become a hurricane in 24 h and a major
hurricane in 72 h, and it lies at the upper edge of the intensity
guidance.  However, rapid intensification is a distinct possibility,
and it would be no surprise if Maria got significantly stronger than
currently forecast.

KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria is expected to strengthen and affect portions of the
Leeward Islands as a hurricane early next week, bringing dangerous
wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards.  Hurricane and tropical
storm watches have been issued for portions of the Lesser Antilles,
and additional watches will likely be issued on Sunday.

2. Maria could also affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico by mid week as a dangerous major hurricane, and
hurricane watches could be issued for these islands as early as
Sunday.  Interests in these areas should monitor the progress of
Maria and follow any advice given by local officials.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  17/0300Z 12.5N  53.7W   45 KT  50 MPH
 12H  17/1200Z 13.1N  55.7W   55 KT  65 MPH
 24H  18/0000Z 13.9N  57.6W   65 KT  75 MPH
 36H  18/1200Z 14.6N  59.2W   75 KT  85 MPH
 48H  19/0000Z 15.3N  60.7W   90 KT 105 MPH
 72H  20/0000Z 16.5N  63.5W  105 KT 120 MPH
 96H  21/0000Z 18.0N  66.5W  110 KT 125 MPH...COAST OF PUERTO RICO
120H  22/0000Z 19.5N  69.0W  100 KT 115 MPH...OVER WATER

$$
Forecaster Beven

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Page last modified: Sunday, 17-Dec-2017 12:09:39 UTC