PRESS RELEASE: The Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services has discontinued the hurricane warning for the British Virgin Islands (BVI). However, a flash flood warning remains in effect until 8pm, September 20, 2017.
The flash flood warning is in effect due to the anticipation of more heavy showers this evening. Gusty winds are also expected to continue across the BVI overnight.
At 5pm, the eye of category Hurricane Maria, was located near latitude 18.8 North, longitude 67.3 West or about 25 miles, north north-west of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Maria is moving toward the northwest near 12 miles per hour (mph) and this general motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through Thursday night.
A turn toward the north-northwest is forecast on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Maria will continue to move away from the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico this evening.
The center will then pass offshore of the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Thursday and then move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeastern Bahamas Thursday night and Friday.
Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is now a category 2 Hurricane on the Saffir Simpson Scale, however, some strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, and Maria could regain major hurricane status by Thursday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles. The minimum central pressure based on data from the Air Force aircraft is 957 millibars.
Since the hurricane warning has been lifted for the BVI, this will be the last advisory on Hurricane Maria by the BVI Department of Disaster Management (DDM). Further advisories on the system can be viewed on the National Hurricane Centre’s website.
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