Hurricane hunter aircraft are reporting that Maria, currently a category 2 about 135 kms east of Martinque, is intensifying and expected to become a major hurricane later today. At the time of the report, the storm has maximum sustained winds of 175 km/h and is moving towards the Caribbean at a rate of 19 km/hr.
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
The Government of St. Lucia has issued a Hurricane Warning for St. Lucia.
The Meteorological Service of St. Maarten has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for St. Maarten.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for: Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Martinique and St. Lucia.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy and Anguilla.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Anyone with interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles and the Dominican Republic are being advised to monitor the progress of this system.