Hurricane Maria Update 9-19-17

Another category five hurricane in the Atlantic.  Maria ramped up quickly yesterday and has re-intensified early today.

Maria went from a category one storm to a five in a day yesterday. Overnight, it slammed into Dominica with 160 mph winds. After weakening slightly, the hurricane has regained its strength still the strongest ranked storm possible.

This storm posses a great threat to the Virgin Islands today and to Puerto Rico on Wednesday.  All indications are Maria will be a category 4 or 5 storm when in reaches the island Wednesday afternoon.

From there, strong computer model consensus exists for a turn to the north over the open Atlantic.

Is it unusual for two storms of this strength to form in one year?  Not really.  Like notable tornado outbreaks, when the exact conditions line up you will get more than one violent storm.  For hurricanes in this region, the warm water is present like it is most years.  Weak wind shear (wind shear is a notable change in wind speed and or direction with height) and a parade of disturbances needed to “kick off” development is all that is needed.

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