After the damage caused by Hurricane Irma last week, the last thing residents in Jacksonville needs to hear is that there’s another hurricane in the Caribbean. On Sunday, Tropical Storm Maria strengthened to become Hurricane Maria and it’s less than 200 miles from Barbados. Barbados is over 1,800 miles away from the First Coast, meaning that it’s too early to tell if Maria will even reach Florida as a major hurricane. Here’s what we know about Maria so far.
A recent ABC News forecast predicts that Maria will be a Category 3 hurricane by the time it reaches Puerto Rico between Wednesday and Thursday. On Sunday, Maria became a Category 1 Hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami reported. By Monday morning, its maximum sustained winds reached 110 mph and it is moving at 12 mph. The latest forecast from the NHC looks better for Florida, as it shows Maria’s cone taking a turn north before reaching Cuba.
Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat, Martinique and St. Lucia. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy and Anguilla.
As the Sun Sentinel notes, forecasters are cautioning that it is far too early to tell where Maria will end up. Some “spaghetti models” show Maria turning north before it reaches the Bahamas. But again, it’s very early and many of these models show that the Leeward Islands, many of which were devastated by Irma, could face a Category 3 hurricane.
ActionNewsJax’s Michael Buresh writes that Maria’s possible interaction with Hurricane Jose has “added to the confusion,” since Jose could impact Maria’s trajectory. As for Jose, Buresh predicts that storm will make no major impact on Florida. He also does not think Jose and Maria will interact.
Here’s the seven-day forecast for Jacksonville from the National Weather Service:
Today: Sunny, with a high near 89. Breezy, with a northeast wind 9 to 15 mph.
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 71. East wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 90. Light and variable wind becoming north around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. Southeast wind 5 to 7 mph becoming light and variable in the evening.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 90. West wind around 5 mph becoming light and variable in the morning.
Wednesday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 74.
Thursday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 88.
Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 73.
Friday: A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 87.
Friday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 73.
Saturday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 85.
Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 72.
Sunday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 85.