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BULLETIN
Hurricane Maria Advisory Number  17
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL152017
500 AM AST Wed Sep 20 2017

...CORE OF EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE MARIA NEARING PUERTO
RICO...


SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.9N 65.6W
ABOUT 15 MI...25 KM SSW OF VIEQUES
ABOUT 50 MI...75 KM SE OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...155 MPH...250 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...917 MB...27.08 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The government of France has discontinued the Tropical Storm
Warning for Guadeloupe.

The government of the Bahamas has issued a Hurricane Warning for
the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas.

The government of the Netherlands has discontinued the Hurricane
Watch for Saba and St. Eustatius.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
* Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
* Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Saba
* St. Maarten
* Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of
the Dominican Republic and Haiti
* Dominican Republic west of Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
* Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Cabo Engano

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.

Interests elsewhere in Hispaniola and the Bahamas should monitor the
progress of Maria.

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
meteorological service.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
At 500 AM AST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located
near latitude 17.9 North, longitude 65.6 West. Maria is moving
toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h).  A west-northwest
to northwest motion is expected to continue through today, followed
by a northwestward motion on Thursday.  On the forecast track the
eye of Maria will make landfall in Puerto Rico in a couple of hours,
cross Puerto Rico today, and pass just north of the northeast coast
of the Dominican Republic tonight and Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher
gusts.  Maria is an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane on the
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and it should maintain this
intensity until landfall.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) from the
center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles
(240 km).  Fajardo recently reported sustained winds of 79 mph (128
km/h) with a gust to 100 mph (161 km/h).

The minimum central pressure recently reported by an Air Force
Hurricane Hunter aircraft is 917 mb (27.08 inches).


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND:  Tropical storm and hurricane conditions are occurring over
the Virgin Islands and are spreading over Puerto Rico.  Hurricane
conditions are expected within the Hurricane Warning area in the
Dominican Republic tonight, with tropical storm conditions expected
by later today.  Tropical storm conditions are expected in the
Tropical Storm Warning areas in the Dominican Republic later
today.  Hurricane conditions are expected within the Hurricane
Warning area by late Thursday in the Turks and Caicos Islands and
the southeastern Bahamas, with tropical storm conditions in this
area by early Thursday.

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 4 to 6 feet
above normal tide levels in the hurricane warning area in the
Dominican Republic, and 1 to 3 ft elsewhere along the northern
coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves
will raise water levels by as much as 10 to 15 feet above normal
tide levels in the Hurricane Warning area near and to the north of
the center of Maria for both the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks
and Caicos 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 Friday:

Central Leeward Islands...additional 1 to 2 inches.
Northern Leeward Islands from Barbuda to Anguilla...additional 2 to
5 inches.
U.S. and British Virgin Islands...additional 8 to 12 inches,
isolated 16 inches.
Puerto Rico...12 to 18 inches, isolated 25 inches.
Northern and eastern Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos...4 to
8 inches, isolated 12 inches.
Northern Haiti and southeastern Bahamas...2 to 4 inches.

Rainfall on these islands will cause life-threatening flash floods
and mudslides.

TORNADOES: Several tornadoes are possible over Puerto Rico and the
U.S. Virgin Islands today.

THE EYE: Do not venture outside when the calm eye of the hurricane
passes over, as dangerous winds will return very quickly when the
eye moves away.

SURF:  Swells generated by Maria are affecting the Leeward Islands,
Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  These swells will begin
affecting the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos
Islands, and the Southeastern Bahamas during the next day or two.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip
current conditions.  Please consult products from your local weather
office.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
Next intermediate advisory at 800 AM AST.
Next complete advisory at 1100 AM AST.

$$
Forecaster Pasch

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