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Friday, September 9, 2011


Shouldn’t NEMO have said something to us?

Tropical Storm Maria is approaching us with sustained winds of 40 mph; but gusting up to 50 mph.

There are clear visual signs that its outer bands are already affecting us, even when its centre is over 300 miles away from us. The rain bands associated with Maria starting affecting us from last night suggesting that the storm covers a fairly wide area. In fact, the Hurricane Centre reports that tropical-storm-force winds extend outward, up to 175 miles but mainly to the north of the centre. We have been experiencing fairly gusty winds and sea swells since last night.

Here is the information about Maria as at 8.00 am today:

Status                  :                Tropical Storm
Position              :                  14.0° N, 56.9° W
Winds                  :                  40 mph
Gusts                   :                  50 mph
Movement          :                  WNW 18 mph
Pressure             :                  29.62 in / 1003 mb

Based on the coordinates, the system [at 800 am today] was about 185 miles ENE of Barbados or about 390 miles SE of the Leeward Islands.

Satellite imagery reveals that intense thunderstorm activity has developed to the north and northeast of the centre of Maria, over the last 6-12 hours. Based on that information, we should be spared from the brunt of the thunderstorm activity; however, we should continue to exercise extreme precaution.

Based on the projected path and movement, the centre of Maria is expected to pass to the north of Martinique at about 9 PM tonight.

Fortunately, the fast-forward motion of Maria along with some strong southwesterly winds is keeping it from becoming better organized at this time. However, Maria will have the opportunity to maintain its strength and perhaps slowly strengthen over the weekend as it moves into a zone of less wind shear.

Forecasters predict that Maria will likely not become a hurricane until early next week but it will bring gusty winds and squalls of heavy rain starting this morning to the Lesser Antilles. Eventually by Saturday night into Sunday, these squalls of wind and rain will spread all the way westward into Puerto Rico.

The government of Antigua has issued a tropical storm warning for Antigua, Anguilla, Barbuda Montserrat Nevis and Saint Kitts.


A tropical storm warning has been issued for the US and British Virgin Islands.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, neighbouring Martinique and a number of the islands in the northern Lesser Antilles.

Maria is heading toward the central and northern Lesser Antilles and at the moment we should be on the look-out for tropical storm conditions which are expected to reach the Lesser Antilles later today. Maria is also expected to produce rain ranging from of 3 to 5 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches.

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