HURRICANE MARIA: TRACKING UPDATE SEP 19th
In the life of a massive Cat. 5 hurricane, a lot can happen over 24 hours. One source reports ‘mind-boggling devastation’ on Dominica. Other islands on the storm’s path are braced for their own tragedies for their populations, many still reeling from the passage of Irma just 2 weeks ago. Here are the latest trackers for 11.00 am EDT today; and a calculated prediction for the position on Friday midnight.
The first thing to note is that (after a slight drop in wind speed) the storm has now intensified to become Cat. 5. In due course wind speeds are expected to reduce gradually, as shown, but of course it won’t necessarily turn out that way.
For the Abacos, however, the situation is notably better that this time yesterday, when the islands were squarely with the cone (though not right at the centre). However the distinct tendency of Maria to hook right / east that was evident yesterday has increased to the extent that Abaco – and indeed the northern Bahamas – is no longer within the cone. Much the same happened with Irma. Both sources below show a similar prediction. Again, it won’t necessarily turn out that way, but there’s at least some encouragement for a better outlook. And of course, this does not mean that Abaco won’t get some heavy weather as Maria moves on…
I’ve used a realtime tracker and moved it forward along its timeline to midnight on Friday. I’ve centred the prediction on South Abaco (white circles). There’s plenty of scope for the course to alter in the meantime, but the model suggests the main storm will progress mainly to the east of the Bahamas – and if the veer continues, then the more so for the northern islands. But remember – the predictions are just that and no more…
Credits: NOAAW / GOES; GOES East; NASA; Wunderground; NOAA / NHC; Windy.com STAY SAFE