As the world recovers from the onslaught of hurricanes Irma and Harvey, another storm poses a major risk: Hurricane Maria. Learn more about the storm that could hit Puerto Rico and the Caribbean soon.
1. It’s expected to become a major hurricane by September 19
As of Monday, September 18, Hurricane Maria is a category 2 storm pushing toward the Leeward islands in the Caribbean. Forecasters believe it’ll become a category 3 or 4 storm by the 19th. The hurricane currently has maximum sustained winds of 110mph, and is centered 120 miles east-southeast of Dominica. It’s heading northwest toward Leeward at 12mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
2. It’s aiming for the Caribbean islands and Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria is on a path to hit many of the islands already ravaged by Hurricane Irma in the weeks prior. The storm is then expected to move onward to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. Puerto Rico was largely passed over by Hurricane Irma, but 70,000 people on the island are still without power. Hurricane Maria would potentially bring even worse detruction. “This storm promises to be catastrophic for our island,” said Ernesto Morales with the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico. “All of Puerto Rico will experience hurricane force winds.”
Hurricane warnings are in effect for the islands of Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Martinique, and St. Lucia. There are also tropical storm warnings issued for Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten.
3. It’s one of several storm systems in the area
Hurricane Maria comes in the wake of the devastating hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and is developing at the same time as Hurricane Jose and tropical storms Norma and Lee. Hurricane Jose has died down quite a bit since first forming, but it’s still expected to impact the US East Coast. Tropical storm watches are in effect along the northern cost from Delaware to Cape Cod. It’s currently centered 270 miles off the coast of North Carolina.
Tropical Storm Norma is threatening the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula in the Pacific ocean. Though the storm is expected to remain offshore, the Mexican government has prepared storm shelters in case of emergency; Mexico was just hit by a devastating earthquake at the same time Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. Tropical storms Lee and Otis have since weakened into a tropical depressions and are not expected to hit land.
4. It’s too soon to know if Maria will hit mainland United States
While Hurricane Jose threatens the US East Coast, forecasters can’t tell at the moment if they should be prepared for Hurricane Maria’s onslaught, too. Right now, it appears that the only US land that will be impacted by the hurricane is Puerto Rico.
5. If Maria turns into a category 3 storm, this is what impacted areas can expect:
Via the National Hurricane Center: “Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.”
HollywoodLifers, are you in Hurricane Maria’s path? Please stay safe!