Hurricane Maria hit the Virgin Islands Tuesday night and made landfall in Puerto Rico at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday morning. With sustained maximum winds of 145 mph, the Category 4 storm is the third-strongest ever to hit the US, and the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico since 1932.
The hurricane’s core is now slamming Puerto Rico. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Culebra, Turks and Caicos, the Southeastern Bahamas, Vieques, and parts of the Dominican Republic. Hurricane watches — meaning hurricane conditions are possible within the next two days — are in effect for parts of the Dominican Republic.
It is still too early to tell where Maria will go after it crosses the Caribbean. Currently, it appears the hurricane will turn north before reaching Florida.
Several official weather agencies and experts — some known as hurricane hunters — are tracking the storm.
The two largest US organisations tracking the storm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration‘s National Hurricane Center (NHC) and National Weather Service (NWS), are providing live updates on their sites and Twitter accounts. The organisations use data from drones, satellites, radar, and buoys to track Maria’s wind speeds, heat, and rain levels, and possible path.
Since Maria is currently hitting Puerto Rico, the San Juan division of the NWS is reporting some of the most up-to-date forecasts and impacts.
The NHC is providing updates on the hour. On its website, you can look at graphics that show Maria’s wind speed probabilities, wind history, and projected path. You can also find observations of satellite images and data of the storm.
Below are some other reputable meteorologists to follow on Twitter who are continually sorting through NHC, NWS, and NOAA data:
- José M. García, a Puerto Rico-based meteorologist
- Deborah Martorell, a Puerto-Rico based meteorologist for Wapa Televisión
- Jeremy Smith, a senior meteorologist at FedEx.
- Gary Szatkowski, a retired NWS meteorologist.
- Michael Lowry, a task-force lead with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and writer who hosts the podcast “Warm Regards.”
- Stu Ostro and Rick Knabb, senior meteorologists at The Weather Channel.
- Philip Klotzbach, a meteorologist at Colorado State University.
- Michael Ventrice, a meteorological scientist at The Weather Company and IBM.
NOAA’s #GOES16 shows #HurricaneMaria, at dangerous Cat. 4 strength, moving over eastern #PuertoRico this morning, 9/20/17. pic.twitter.com/Z0JYygUjqI
— NOAA Satellites PA (@NOAASatellitePA) September 20, 2017
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