8am Hurricane Maria Update from NHC as Puerto Rico is a blackout

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Hurricane Maria regained deadly hurricane strength early Thursday, ramping back up to a Category 3 storm, as it left a devastated — and completely powerless — Puerto Rico in its wake.

The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years left the entire island without electricity, making it difficult to assess the total damage caused by Maria’s winds and rain.

The storm, with winds of 115 mph and traveling northwest at 9 mph, is now headed for the northeastern Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos. The small islands are about to get hit by Maria amid a clean-up effort that carries over from Hurricane Irma.

Maria is responsible for 10 deaths so far: two people in Guadeloupe, seven in Dominica and one in Puerto Rico.

The hurricane’s newest path can be seen in the charts below (please scroll down). Maria is expected to hit the U.S. by Sunday, as shown on the charts.

FROM THE NHC:

BULLETIN
Hurricane Maria Intermediate Advisory Number 21A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017
800 AM AST Thu Sep 21 2017

…MARIA’S LARGE EYE PASSING OFFSHORE OF THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF
THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…19.9N 68.7W
ABOUT 95 MI…150 KM NNW OF PUNTA CANA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
ABOUT 190 MI…305 KM SE OF GRAND TURK ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…115 MPH…185 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…959 MB…28.32 INCHES

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

The government of the Bahamas has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for
the central Bahamas.

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 Punta Palenque

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Cabo Engano

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 Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area, in this case within the next 12 hours.

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 in the United States,
including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor
products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast
office. For storm information specific to your area outside the
United States, please monitor products issued by your national
meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
——————————
At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the large eye of Hurricane Maria was
located near latitude 19.9 North, longitude 68.7 West. Maria is
moving toward the northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general
motion is expected through tonight. A turn toward the
north-northwest is forecast on Friday. On the forecast track, the
eye of Hurricane Maria will continue to pass offshore of the
northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic today. Maria should
then move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern
Bahamas tonight and Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher
gusts. Maria is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson
Hurricane Wind Scale. Some 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).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 959 mb (28.32 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
WIND: Strong gusty winds are still occurring over portions of
Puerto Rico, but should continue to gradually subside this morning.
Tropical storm or hurricane conditions are continuing across
portions of the warning areas in the Dominican Republic. Hurricane
conditions are expected to begin in portions of the Turks and Caicos
Islands and the southeastern Bahamas tonight, with tropical storm
conditions beginning in these areas later today. Tropical storm
conditions are possible in the central Bahamas beginning late
Friday.

STORM SURGE: Water levels in Puerto Rico should continue receding
during the next few hours.

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 still affecting the Leeward
Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These swells are
also affecting the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and
Caicos Islands, and should begin in the Southeastern Bahamas later
today. 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 1100 AM AST.

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