Maria could be the second major hurricane in as many weeks to threaten the islands of the northeast Caribbean. A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Dominica, and Hurricane Watches are in effect for all of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Tropical Storm Maria is not as strong as Irma was, but still likely to be a powerful and destructive hurricane when it passes through the island chain on Tuesday.
Tropical Storm #Maria is expected to become a hurricane in next 24 hrs and threaten Lesser Antilles Tuesday. https://t.co/1YxhQKKShO #flwx pic.twitter.com/RBoxmRUD2G— Florida Storms (@FloridaStorms) September 17, 2017
Puerto Rico is next on Maria’s projected path, possibly making a direct hit on the island Wednesday or Thursday. This could yield a different outcome than what was left behind from the glancing blow by Irma, and the two should not be compared when considering preparations for Maria. The National Hurricane Center says Maria is likely to be a Category 3 storm by then and their forecasters have stated multiple times this may be a conservative call.
After passing through the northeast Caribbean, Maris is forecast to continue on a west-northwest track, and maybe even turn more northwest by Friday. Thereafter, a credible forecast on whether or not the U.S. will be directly affected by (likely Hurricane) Maria is just not possible yet. All residents in hurricane prone areas from Florida to the Mid-Atlantic states should closely monitor the latest information on Tropical Storm Maria.