Possible dramatic finale for MARIA
Saturday 23rd September 2017
Hurricane MARIA is now 700 miles south-sou'east of Cape Hatteras moving north-nor'west at 5 knots. MARIA had a wobble overnight after bouncing off a wall of upper level shear. Unfortunately this powerful hurricane escaped largely unperturbed and is rallying again. This cyclone will soon be up to strength again with an HSI rating of 28 (16 for size and 12 for intensity) with winds around 125 knots and a tropical storm strength windfield radius of 220 miles. MARIA has been characterised throughout by an unpredictable forward track but at least today, we have two reasonably firm options. As the storm moves closer to North Carolina, it is likely to move over the cold, churned wake left by JOSE and a gradual weakening trend could be expected. If on the other hand, MARIA drifts west towards the Outer Banks, it would maintain its intensify, if not intensify a little. This means a strong hurricane closing on North Carolina. As we have seen with other hurricanes this season, slow ground speeds create considerable rainmakers and this would have an impact across the eastern seaboard. We may still have this storm on radar for a few more days yet, and a dramatic finale on the eastern seaboard is a possibility
.The remnants of JOSE will continue to meander offshore New England while weakening over the next few days and should completely dissipate in three to four days without bothering anyone ashore.
Tropical Storm LEE is still hanging on out in the open Atlantic. Aerial imagery shows reorganisation and it is not beyond reason for LEE to regain hurricane strength but will only cause misery to fish and sailors.
Storm cones aloft North Carolina.