A Trio in the Tropics; Maria Stronger


There is great uncertainty over where Hurricane Maria could go more than five or six days from now because it is beyond the range of the forecasts.

Three storms brewing in the Atlantic Ocean are gaining strength, prompting hurricane watches and warnings across the Caribbean on Sunday.

The likelihood of Maria bringing storm surge, high rainfall totals and risky wind speeds has prompted a hurricane warning in Dominica and a tropical storm warning in St. Lucia. Thomas and St. John seeing tropical storm force winds, Mapp said, adding, "given the current conditions of St. Thomas and St. John, that's not good". A hurricane watch is in effect.

"Unfortunately, it's going to impact some of those same islands that were devastated by Hurricane Irma", said Moss. The NHC predicts that Maria will hit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands by Tuesday evening. A hurricane watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds.

Torrential rainfall, an anticipated six to 12 inches worth, could cause deadly flooding and mudslides through the islands. These islands are still recovering from Hurricane Irma, which hit just over a week ago.

Farther north, long-lived Hurricane Jose continued to head northward off the US East Coast, causing unsafe surf and rip currents.

Cape Gears Up for Jose
Cape Gears Up for Jose

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Sunday that Hurricane Jose was a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour.

Norma had winds of about 50 mph and it was centered about 175 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas.

Winds remain at a consistent 80 miles an hour as the storm remains a Category 1 hurricane. Risky surf and rip currents expected along the east coast of the United States.

The swells can create life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. As of last night, Reppert said the story system looked "more like a winter storm on the Cape, with stronger waves and strong winds over the area, which we typically see for nor'easters". "Interests along the USA east coast from Virginia to New England should monitor the progress of Jose through the next several days".

As of Monday morning, Lee was about 1,060 miles (1,710 kilometers) west of Cape Verde.

It's expected to have little or no impact on the Harrisburg area beyond clouds on Tuesday, said National Weather Service at State College meteorologist Barry Lambert.

More news: Hurricane Irma: prayers for Barbuda at Southwark Cathedral service