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Hurricane MARIA


Hurricane Maria Discussion Number  26
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL152017
1100 AM EDT Fri Sep 22 2017

Even though Maria's eye has become cloud filled since the previous
advisory, reconnaissance data indicate that the hurricane has not
weakened.  The highest flight-level wind measured by the plane was
121 kt, accompanied by SFMR winds as high as 109 kt, so the initial
intensity will remain 110 kt.  Microwave data and reports from the
plane indicate that the eye has opened up on the southwest/west
side, which is likely an indicator of increasing southwesterly
shear.  This shear is expected to persist for at least the next 36
hours, but Maria will be moving over 28-29 degree Celsius water
during that time.  Therefore, only a very gradual reduction in wind
speed is expected for the next 2 days.  After that time, Maria will
begin to move over a cold pool left behind by Jose, where sea
surface temperatures are 26 degrees Celsius or colder.  Additional
weakening is therefore anticipated on days 3 through 5, and the NHC
intensity forecast is a little lower than SHIPS, LGEM, and the
intensity consensus to account for the possible effect of the
colder waters.

Maria continues to move northwestward, or 325/7 kt, around the
southwestern periphery of a mid-level high centered south of
Bermuda.  The hurricane should turn north-northwestward later today
and then northward in 24-36 hours when it begins to move between
the high and an elongated trough extending southwest of Jose.
Although a general northward motion is expected through the end of
the forecast period, some notable speed differences develop among
the track models from day 3 and beyond.  The ECMWF and UKMET are
the main outliers, lying on the western side of the guidance
envelope.  To account for those possible solutions, the NHC track
forecast leans a little left of the TVCN multi-model consensus
toward the end of the forecast period.


1. Flash flooding continues in portions of Puerto Rico and the
Dominican Republic due to persistent heavy rainfall from Maria's
trailing rainbands.  Continue to follow advice from local
officials to avoid these life-threatening flooding conditions.

2. Swells from Maria are beginning to reach the coast of the
southeastern United States and will last for several days.  These
swells are likely to cause dangerous surf and life-threatening rip
currents along the coast for the next several days, even with Maria
forecast to remain well offshore over the western Atlantic Ocean.

3. Maria will be closer to the east coast of the United States and
Bermuda by the middle of next week, but it is too soon to determine
what, if any, direct impacts there might be in these areas.


INIT  22/1500Z 22.3N  71.0W  110 KT 125 MPH
 12H  23/0000Z 23.5N  71.5W  105 KT 120 MPH
 24H  23/1200Z 25.0N  72.0W  100 KT 115 MPH
 36H  24/0000Z 26.5N  72.3W  100 KT 115 MPH
 48H  24/1200Z 27.9N  72.3W   95 KT 110 MPH
 72H  25/1200Z 30.0N  71.6W   85 KT 100 MPH
 96H  26/1200Z 32.0N  71.0W   75 KT  85 MPH
120H  27/1200Z 34.0N  71.0W   65 KT  75 MPH

Forecaster Berg