FLORIDA, United States, Thursday September 21, 2017 – Maria is heading toward the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) as a Category 3 hurricane.
Maria, which devastated Dominica as a Category 5 hurricane and then caused major damage in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, is now carrying maximum sustained winds near 120 miles per hour.
At 2 p.m., it was located 85 miles east northeast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and about 135 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island, TCI. It was moving towards the northwest at nine miles per hour, and the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami says a turn toward the north-northwest is forecast early tomorrow, with that motion continuing through early Saturday.
“On the forecast track, Maria’s eye will continue to pass offshore of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic today, and then move near or just east of the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas tonight and on Friday,” the NHC said.
“Some additional strengthening is possible during the next day or so.”
WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
* Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti
* Dominican Republic west of Cabo Engano to Andres/Boca Chica
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* Central Bahamas
Tropical storm conditions are expected to begin in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas later today, with hurricane conditions expected tonight or early tomorrow. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the central Bahamas beginning late tomorrow.