Tropical Storm Maria is currently located approximately 255 miles (415 kilometers) west-southwest of Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The storm has strengthened slightly over the last 24 hours and currently packs sustained winds of around 65 mph (100 kmph), equivalent to a strong tropical storm. The NHC says there is a 54 percent chance of Maria intensifying into a hurricane over the next 12 hours. The storm is currently moving towards the north-northeast and this motion is expected to continue today before turning to the northeast tomorrow. On this forecast track, Maria is expected to quickly pass to west of Bermuda later today. With tropical storm force winds extending 205 miles (335 kilometers) from the center of the storm, Maria is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to Bermuda.
Warnings and Alerts
A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning have now been issued for Bermuda. The NHC said tropical storm conditions are expected to reach Bermuda later today, with hurricane conditions possible. The NHC added that up to 3 inches (75 millimeters) of rainfall is expected to fall across Bermuda today.
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Forecasters expect Maria to maintain its north-northeast motion today before taking a turn to the northeast tomorrow. The storm’s forward speed is expected to increase during this time, meaning it will quickly pass to the west of Bermuda later today. The latest NHC forecast indicates that Maria will pass around 130 miles (210 kilometers) to the west of Bermuda, subjecting the island to tropical storm force winds. The system is expected to maintain its tropical storm status as it approaches Bermuda and could intensify into a hurricane as it makes its closest pass to Bermuda. The NHC said there is a 51 percent chance of Maria becoming a category 1 hurricane over the next 12 hours.
The extended NHC forecast has Maria maintaining its northeasterly track through the northern Atlantic and heading towards the Newfoundland in Canada. The latest NHC forecast indicates Maria will run parallel to the island tomorrow as a tropical storm, bringing heavy rain to the area. There is some uncertainty associated with Maria’s extended track, however, with some forecast models calling for Maria to make landfall in Newfoundland as a tropical storm and others showing the storm veering further east into open waters.
Impact in Caribbean
Earlier in the week, tropical storm force winds hit parts of Anguilla, Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands as Maria moved through the northeastern Caribbean. However, there have been no reports of significant damage or disruption in the region.
Guy Carpenter will closely monitor Maria’s progress over the next 24 hours and update this report if there are significant developments.
Sources: National Hurricane Center, WSI, Associated Press, Reuters News, Agence France Presse, AIR Worldwide, EQECAT
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