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Hurricane Maria Forecast Discussion (Text)


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Hurricane Maria Discussion Number  36
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL152017
1100 PM EDT Sun Sep 24 2017

Hurricane Hunter observations indicate that Maria has weakened.
Using a blend of flight-level winds and SFMR-observed surface winds
along with a dropsonde in the northeast eyewall of the hurricane,
the current intensity is set at 80 kt.  Observations from a NOAA
aircraft indicate that the SSTs beneath Maria are on the order of
24-25 deg C, which has probably contributed to the decrease of
intensity.  These relatively cool waters are likely due to mixing
and upwelling from slow-moving Hurricane Jose, which traversed the
area a little over a week ago.  Gradual weakening is anticipated for
the next few days, and the official intensity forecast is near or
above the latest model consensus.  Maria is expected to remain a
hurricane for at least the next few days, however.

Based on a number of center fixes from the Air Force and NOAA
Hurricane Hunters, the motion is northward at a slightly slower
speed, or 360/7 kt.  Maria is being steered by the flow between a
mid-level cyclone near the southeastern U.S. and a subtropical ridge
over the southwestern Atlantic.  A mid-level ridge over the
northeastern U.S. will likely cause Maria's forward motion to slow
some more over the next couple of days.  The global models predict
that this ridge will break down by 72 hours, and this should
allow Maria to turn to the right as it begins to approach the
mid-latitude westerlies.  The official track forecast is similar to
the previous one and lies near the left edge of the numerical
guidance, in deference to the reliable ECMWF which is the
westernmost of the model tracks.

Maria is a large hurricane, so it could bring tropical storm
conditions to portions of the North Carolina coast in a couple of
days, even if its center remains well offshore.


KEY MESSAGES:

1. Maria is forecast to continue moving northward, paralleling the
U.S. east coast, and it is likely that some direct impacts will
occur along portions of the coast beginning Tuesday, and a Tropical
Storm Watch has been issued for a portion of the coast of North
Carolina.

2. Storm surge flooding especially along the sound side of the
North Carolina Outer Banks is possible beginning Tuesday, and a
Storm Surge Watch has been issued for a portion of the North
Carolina Outer Banks.

3. Swells from Maria are increasing along the coast of the
southeastern United States and are expected to reach the Mid-
Atlantic coast tonight or on Monday.  These swells will likely cause
dangerous surf and rip currents at beaches in these areas through
much of the week.  For more information, please monitor information
from your local National Weather Service office at www.weather.gov.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  25/0300Z 30.0N  73.0W   80 KT  90 MPH
 12H  25/1200Z 30.8N  73.2W   80 KT  90 MPH
 24H  26/0000Z 31.9N  73.3W   75 KT  85 MPH
 36H  26/1200Z 33.0N  73.5W   75 KT  85 MPH
 48H  27/0000Z 33.9N  73.5W   70 KT  80 MPH
 72H  28/0000Z 35.2N  72.8W   65 KT  75 MPH
 96H  29/0000Z 36.5N  69.5W   65 KT  75 MPH
120H  30/0000Z 38.0N  62.0W   65 KT  75 MPH

$$
Forecaster Pasch

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Page last modified: Monday, 25-Sep-2017 02:34:50 UTC