Catastrophic Maria strike on USVI and Puerto Rico next

One look at the satellite loop of Hurricane Maria tells you she means business.

Hurricane Maria. NOAA

165 mph winds

Maria is a symmetrical, tight, compact, extremely powerful category 5 hurricane. Top wind speeds with Maria are at 165 mph as of the 5 pm EDT update from the National Hurricane Center.

The wording is dire.

NOAA

Maria is expected to remain at category 5 intensity as she makes a beeline for the USVI and Puerto Rico in the next 24 hours.

NOAA

Strongest hurricane in Puerto Rico history

The last category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico was in 1932. On her current track and intensity Maria will be the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico history.

Sobering season

Indeed the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been a meteorological train wreck. You don’t want to watch, but you can’t look away. The Caribbean islands have been hit by multiple damaging storms this season.

Maria track

Most of the longer range track guidance keeps Maria offshore form the U.S. mainland in the next week.

weathernerds.org

Jose pounds the beaches

Meanwhile Hurricane Jose spins off the east coast.

Hurricane Jose. NOAA

Jose is generating pounding surf along the Jersey Shore and Long Island.

Traffic cams in North Carolina’s Outer Banks show the battle between storm surf and road crews. At least MNDOT doesn’t have to deal with this.

Overnight rain

I still expect a band of T-Storms to move east across Minnesota tonight. The core of strongest storms will be in western Minnesota and may pass north of the Twin Cities between 3 and 5 am.

NOAA HRRR model via tropical tidbits.

Here’s the latest timing across Minnesota courtesy of the Twin Cities NWS.

Wet weekend?

The latest model runs continue to suggest a stalled front over Minnesota this weekend. That could generate multiple thunderstorm waves with heavy downpours.

Twin Cities NWS

Stay tuned.