Hurricane Maria intensifies to Category 5
Monday 18th September 2017 â¦ 8:00 pm
A Tropical STORM-WATCH remains in effect for ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES (SVG) – HURRICANE MARIA INTENSIFIES TO CATEGORY 5
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
At 8 pm, the centre of Category 5 Hurricane Maria was located near 15.3Â°N 61.1Â°W or about 130 miles (209 km) to the north -northeast of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts, and further strengthening is forecast tonight. Hurricane-force winds now extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). Minimum central pressure was 925 millibars or 27.32 inches. The system is moving west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h) and this motion is expected through Wednesday. The centre of dangerous Hurricane Maria is about to move over Dominica.
Feeder bands from Hurricane Maria would continue to produce pockets of moderate to heavy showers, periods of rain, thunderstorms and gusty winds across SVG into tomorrow. Sustained westerly wind speed of 20 â 35 mph (32 – 56km/h) with higher gusts can be expected. Rainfall accumulations of 3 – 5 inches (75 – 125 mm) are possible, with higher amounts in mountainous areas.
A Flood Warning remains in effect until 6:00 am tomorrow, Tuesday 19th, 2017. Persons near rivers, streams and areas prone to flooding and land slippage, should take precautions.
Seas across SVG are expected to be at least 4- 6 metres (13ft-20ft), with life-threatening surf and rip current.
The High Surf Advisory and Small Craft Warning remain in effect until 12:00 pm tomorrow, Tuesday 19th, 2017
Small craft operators are advised to remain in port and sea bathers and other users of the sea are strongly advised to stay out of the water.
The Saint Vincent Meteorological Services continue to monitor Hurricane MARIA; next update at 11:00pm today.
Prepared by Mr.B Jeffers