Hurricane Maria Grows To Category 3: Where It’s Likely To Hit U.S.

Hurricane Maria Category 3 Headed To U.S.

Hurricane Maria is picking up deadly strength and is set to hit several areas in the U.S. this week. After mass devastation plagued the Caribbean islands last week with Hurricane Irma, they’re having to brace for another disaster.

On Monday, Maria barreled toward the Leeland Islands, and other U.S. areas are also in its path. AOL News reports that several eastern Caribbean islands may be impacted with a second major storm in September. The U.S. National Hurricane Center announced at 11. a.m. ET that Hurricane Maria reached Category 3 with maximum sustained winds up to 120 miles per hour when it was an estimated 60 miles east of Martinique. The storm was traveling west-northwest at 10 miles per hour. It’s being calculated that Maria will arrive in Puerto Rico by Wednesday.

USA Today adds in its reporting of Hurricane Maria that this “promises to be catastrophic” for the Caribbean islands, the last place that needs another major storm. Damage to homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure have made several islands uninhabitable. Electricity isn’t expected to be restored for months. As a result, people are scrambling to find food and obtain basic necessities to survive in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Will Hurricane Maria strike the U.S. East Coast? According to the report, it’s too early to forecast Maria’s path on that, but it would happen by early next week if that’s the case. A strike in Florida, however, is a possibility. AccuWeather meteorologist Dave Samuhel says the hurricane may turn north before reaching Florida, but blocking high pressure may put it on course to target the state. It’s something they’re certainly following.

The center of Maria is expected to move across Leeward Island on late Monday then continue through the northeastern Caribbean Sea into Tuesday. Maria is forecast to reach a Category 4 hurricane reaching 150 miles per hour by late Tuesday. If the hurricane does cross Puerto Rico on Wednesday, it’ll have with it catastrophic strength, said Ernesto Morales of the National Weather Service in San Juan. He explained that the entire island “will experience hurricane-force winds.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands will experience “a glancing blow if not a full-on landfall” on late Tuesday or early Wednesday, Samuhel predicts.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic may be hit as well by Hurricane Maria on Wednesday. Puerto Rico President Ricardo Rossello said the government has already prepared hundreds of shelters that can hold a capacity of over 100,000 evacuees if needed.

Hurricane Maria’s path toward the East Coast is contingent on “steering currents in the upper atmosphere over the western Atlantic and the eastern U.S. that can’t be determined more than a week in advance,” reveals the Weather Channel.

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