MARIA passing closet point of approach to Turks & Caicos Islands
Friday 22nd October 2017
From west to east – As we discussed earlier in the week, the incubator for storm development is shifting from the trans-Atlantic maternity ward to home delivery in the south west Caribbean. We already have our first potential contractions with a belt of moisture expected in the Bay of Campeche and southwest Gulf of Mexico by next Tuesday. There is no real need to call the midwife at this stage, however increased shower and thunderstorm activity is expected and this is often the precursor to delivery. Meanwhile, frontal activity still provides a robust prophylactic for the north-west Gulf of Mexico.
Strong category three hurricane MARIA has just passed its closest point of approach to the Turks and Caicos Island, now about 35 miles northeast of East Caicos Island with maximum wind speeds of around 140 knots at peak intensity with HSI rating of 28 (15 for size and 13 for intensity) with a 220 mile radius tropical storm windfield. The eye of MARIA is beginning to produce cloud cover which is often an indication that vertical circulation is starting to fail. After doing whatever unpleasantness MARIA will do to the Turks and Caicos Islands, there seems to be a general feeling that the cyclone will track north and then northeast, reducing any threat to the eastern seaboard. By late Tuesday and into early Wednesday, MARIA is expected to be roughly halfway between North Carolina and Bermuda before heading seaward.
JOSE has lost its tropical characteristics and is about 120 miles southeast of Nantucket - still stationary. This still looks set to drift offshore New England over the next few days while weakening. This will continue to bring showers, breezy conditions, and higher than normal tides to Cape Cod and Nantucket but unlikely to do much more ashore. The remnants of LEE are moving due north along the 50th parallel which is more or less mid-Atlantic and not expected to redevelop as it hits airborne sand. A couple of hundred miles south and about 80 miles east of LEE, disturbance Forty Two is around four days west of the Cape Verde Islands moving to the northwest at 18 knots and also drawing on dry air. Development is not expected.
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Stand by for hurricane conditions in the Turks and Caicos Islands.