TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING STATEMENT

WHCA31 TAPA
HURRICANE MARIA WARNING STATEMENT
ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA METEOROLOGICAL SERVICES
11:00 PM ECT MON, SEP 18, 2017

THIS IS FOR ST KITTS AND NEVIS

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR ST. KITTS AND NEVIS. A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA, IN THIS CASE WITHIN THE NEXT 12-24 HOURS.

AT 1100 PM AST (0300 UTC), THE CENTER OF HURRICANE MARIA WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.5 NORTH, LONGITUDE 61.4 WEST. THIS POSITION IS APPROXIMATELY 142 MILES ESE OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS. MARIA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 9 MPH (15 KM/H), AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH WEDNESDAY. ON THE FORECAST TRACK, THE EYE OF MARIA WILL MOVE OVER THE NORTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA ON TUESDAY AND APPROACH THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY.

REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 160 MPH (260 KM/H) WITH HIGHER GUSTS. MARIA IS A CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO, BUT MARIA IS FORECAST TO REMAIN AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE WHILE IT APPROACHES THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO.

HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES (45 KM) FROM THE CENTER AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 125 MILES (205 KM). HAM RADIO REPORTS INDICATE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO STRUCTURES HAS OCCURRED IN DOMINICA.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE ESTIMATED FROM RECONNAISSANCE DATA IS 924 MB (27.29 INCHES).

BASED UPON THE LATEST TRACK AND ANALYSIS, HURRICANE MARIA IS EXPECTED TO MAINTAIN A PATH THAT BRINGS THE CENTER WITHIN 70 MILES TO THE SOUTHWEST OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS ON TUESDAY AS A MAJOR HURRICANE. WHILE THIS POSITION PUTS ST. KITTS AND NEVIS OUTSIDE THE ZONE OF SUSTAINED HURRICANE FORCE WINDS; TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS BETWEEN 30-50 MILES PER HOUR WITH HIGHER GUSTS ARE NOW POSSIBLE. RESIDENTS SHOULD TAKE ALL THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY.

MARIA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL TOTALS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE MUDSLIDES ALONG SLOPES AND FLASH FLOODS IN LOW LYING AND FLOOD PRONE AREAS. RESIDENTS IN LOW LYING AND FLOOD PRONE AREAS SHOULD GUARD AGAINST FLASH FLOOD AND RESIDENTS NEAR SLOPES SHOULD GUARD AGAINST MUDSLIDES.

DANGEROUS STORM SURGE OF UP TO 6 FEET ACCOMPANIED BY DESTRUCTIVE SWELLS PEAKING NEAR 25 FEET CAN BE EXPECTED. THEREFORE, MARINERS SHOULD SECURE THERE VESSELS AND RESIDENTS SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM COASTAL AREAS

ALL RESIDENTS SHOULD EXECUTE THEIR STORM PLANS, LISTEN TO OFFICIALS AND MONITOR CLOSELY THE PROGRESS OF MARIA.

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE AT 5AM ECT TUESDAY.

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FORECASTER
ORVIN PAIGE