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11pm Maria Discussion

Posted by CX on 9/16/2017, 11:13 pm

Maria has become a little better organized this evening, with
satellite imagery showing the formation of a small convective area
near the center that may reflect the formation of an inner wind
core. However, this has not yet resulted in intensification, as
various subjective and objective satellite intensity estimates
remain about 45 kt.

The longer-term initial motion is 280/14, while recent satellite
imagery suggests the system may be turning a little more to the
right.  A mid-level ridge to the north of the cyclone is expected
to gradually weaken through the forecast period, which would
allow Maria to move generally west-northwestward with a decrease
in forward speed during the next five days.  The track guidance is
tightly clustered, and the new forecast track is nudged only
slightly to the left of the previous track based on the initial
location.  The forecast continues to take the core of Maria near the
Leeward Islands in 48 to 72 hours, close to the Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico in about 96 hr, and near eastern Hispaniola at about
120 h.

Maria is expected to remain in an environment of good moisture,
light shear, and warm sea surface temperatures for at least the
next 4 days.  This should result in steady to rapid intensification.
The new intensity forecast is similar to the previous forecast in
calling for Maria to become a hurricane in 24 h and a major
hurricane in 72 h, and it lies at the upper edge of the intensity
guidance.  However, rapid intensification is a distinct possibility,
and it would be no surprise if Maria got significantly stronger than
currently forecast.

11pm track is over Dominica as a hurricane. Approaching PR as a major - nearly Cat 4.

With that said, the bolded language from the discussion is ominous. Not what you want to hear when the intensity is already nearly cat 4.


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11pm Maria Discussion - CX, 9/16/2017, 11:13 pm

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