Hurricane Maria is a “potentially catastrophic” Category 5 in the Atlantic heading to Puerto Rico and leaving many on the U.S. mainland wondering what states it could impact. Will its path affect Florida, Georgia, North or South Carolina, or any other states? Hurricanes can be quite unpredictable at this stage, but the newest forecasts show the storm continuing its northward turn and possibly not making direct landfall in Florida, the Carolinas, or anywhere else on the U.S. mainland coast. It’s too soon to know for certain what Maria will do, however, so it’s a good idea to stay updated on the latest NOAA forecasts and maps.
The map above shows a cone estimating the probable path of the center of Irma. It does not reflect the size of the storm. Any predicted hurricane warnings are in red above, and tropical storm warnings are in blue. Hurricane watches are in pink and tropical storm watches are in yellow. As you can see, the cone does not yet extend to the United States or Florida, because the hurricane is still far away.
This general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday night, the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center has reported tonight.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center has the eye of Maria moving near St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands tonight, crossing Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and passing north of the Dominican Republic Wednesday night and Thursday.
Next is the another map from the National Hurricane Center estimating where the center of the storm will go.
Google now has a fascinating “Crisis Map” for Maria created by Google Crisis Response. See the full map here. Below is what it looks like at the time of publication. The map also shows Jose if you move north:
And here’s a spaghetti model for Maria. Spaghetti models currently show the storm heading well east of Florida and the Carolinas, possibly not making landfall in the U.S. Hopefully these paths hold. See more discussion about spaghetti models here.
Here’s an experimental map showing when tropical storm force winds will arrive next. Wind predictions have shifted, with Florida and the Carolinas possibly missing tropical storm force winds if the current direction holds. Hurricane force winds extend 35 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend up to 140 miles from the center.
Wind speed probabilities can be viewed in this map. These are probabilities for 2 p.m. Tuesday through 2 p.m. Sunday. The wind speeds are mixing a bit with Jose’s wind speeds up north.
Here are some additional maps. This one shows Maria possibly going through an eyewall replacement cycle, which could temporarily lower the hurricane’s category, but it might strengthen again after that.
It’s still expected by many experts to be a Category 5 when it reaches Puerto Rico:
Here’s a radar image of Maria:
Here’s a look at charts comparing Maria’s pressure to Wilma’s record:
Here’s where Maria stands based on lowest central pressure: