2pm Update from National Hurricane Center on Maria — getting stronger (Videos)

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Puerto Rico remains largely without power, and the island is no longer what it once was.

There is speculation that it will take six months to restore power to the island.

Some people have no clean water to drink.

The storm has gained more strength over the past few hours, now holding winds of 120 mph as it heads for Turks and Caicos.

Scroll down for the most recent media reports about Maria and Puerto Rico. (VIDEOS at end.)

BULLETIN
Hurricane Maria Intermediate Advisory Number 22A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017
200 PM AST Thu Sep 21 2017

…MARIA A LITTLE STRONGER AS IT MOVES TOWARD THE TURKS AND CAICOS
ISLANDS…

 

SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST…1800 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…20.4N 69.4W
ABOUT 85 MI…140 KM ENE OF PUERTO PLATA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
ABOUT 135 MI…215 KM SE OF GRAND TURK ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…120 MPH…195 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…960 MB…28.35 INCHES

 

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

None.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
* Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of
the Dominican Republic and Haiti
* Dominican Republic west of Cabo Engano to Andres/Boca Chica

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Central Bahamas

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 Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

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

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products
issued by your national meteorological service.

 

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the large eye of Hurricane Maria was
located near latitude 20.4 North, longitude 69.4 West. Maria is
moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general
motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the
north-northwest is forecast early Friday, with that motion
continuing through early Saturday. On the forecast track, Maria’s
eye will continue to pass offshore of the northern coast of the
Dominican Republic today, and then move near or just east of the
Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas tonight and on
Friday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate
that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 mph (195
km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional strengthening
is possible during the next day or so.

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). A wind gust to 49 mph (79 km/h) was recently
reported at Santiago de Los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic.

The minimum central pressure based on aircraft data is 960 mb
(28.35 inches).

 

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND: Hurricane and tropical storm conditions continue across
portions of the Dominican Republic. Tropical storm conditions are
expected to begin in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the
southeastern Bahamas later today, with hurricane conditions
expected tonight or early Friday. Tropical storm conditions are
possible in the central Bahamas beginning late Friday.

Strong gusty winds are still possible today over portions of Puerto
Rico, especially in heavier rainbands that are moving over the
island.

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 9 to 12 feet above normal
tide levels within the hurricane warning area of the southeastern
Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce the following rainfall
accumulations through Saturday:

Puerto Rico…additional 4 to 8 inches, isolated maximum storm total
amounts 35 inches.
U.S. and British Virgin Islands…additional 2 to 4 inches.
Northern and eastern Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and
Mayaguana in southeast Bahamas…8 to 16 inches, isolated 20 inches.
Inagua Islands, Crooked Island, and rest of southeast Bahamas…4 to
8 inches.
Northern Haiti…2 to 4 inches.

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

SURF: Swells generated by Maria are affecting Puerto Rico, the
Virgin Islands, the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and
Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas. These swells will
reach the remainder of the Bahamas today and tonight and should
reach portions of the United States southeastern coast on Friday.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip
current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather
office.

 

NEXT ADVISORY
————-
Next complete advisory at 500 PM AST.

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