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Hurricane MARIA


Hurricane Maria Discussion Number   8
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL152017
500 AM AST Mon Sep 18 2017

Maria is maintaining a fairly circular area of intense convection
with some accompanying banding features.  There has also been
considerable lightning occurring near the center over the past
several hours, confirming the vigor of the core convection.  The
current intensity is set at 80 kt which is a blend of Dvorak
estimates from TAFB and SAB.  An Air Force Reserve Unit Hurricane
Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate Maria in a couple of
hours and will give another estimate of the strength of the
hurricane.  With warm waters and weak shear anticipated along the
projected track of Maria, additional strengthening is forecast.
According to the SHIPS-RI guidance, there is a significant
probability of rapid intensification over the next day or two.  The
official intensity forecast is similar to the model consensus and
the latest HWRF simulation.  Maria is likely to be at category 3 or
4 intensity by the time it moves into the extreme northeastern
Caribbean Sea.

Geostationary satellite fixes and the position estimates from the
Martinique radar give a motion of about 290/11 kt.  A high pressure
area to the north of Maria should maintain the west-northwestward
motion for the next several days.  Late in the forecast period, the
high weakens and this should cause a turn toward the
north-northwest.  The official track forecast is similar to the
HFIP Corrected Consensus model as well as the ECMWF and lies on the
left side of the guidance suite.


1. Maria is likely to strengthen significantly, and is expected to
be at major hurricane intensity when it affects portions of the
Leeward Islands over the next few days, bringing dangerous wind,
storm surge and rainfall hazards.

2. Maria is likely to affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico by mid week as a dangerous major hurricane.  Hurricane
watches have been issued for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands
as well as for Puerto Rico.  Interests in these areas should monitor
the progress of Maria and follow any advice given by local


INIT  18/0900Z 14.6N  59.5W   80 KT  90 MPH
 12H  18/1800Z 15.1N  60.6W   90 KT 105 MPH
 24H  19/0600Z 15.8N  62.0W  105 KT 120 MPH
 36H  19/1800Z 16.6N  63.4W  115 KT 130 MPH
 48H  20/0600Z 17.4N  64.8W  120 KT 140 MPH
 72H  21/0600Z 19.0N  67.7W  115 KT 130 MPH
 96H  22/0600Z 21.0N  70.4W  110 KT 125 MPH
120H  23/0600Z 23.5N  72.0W  105 KT 120 MPH

Forecaster Pasch