At 5:00 a.m. Monday, Hurricane Maria was located approximately 215 km east-southeast (ESE) of Dominica or 160 km east (E) of Martinique, and is moving in a west-northwesterly direction at approximately 20 km/h.
A slower west-northwest motion is expected during the next few days.
The hurricane is projected to strengthen into a Category four hurricane.
Several Caribbean islands are already bracing for impact.
According to the Monday morning forecast by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Officem, maximum sustained winds have increased to 120 km/h with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours and Maria is forecast to become a near major hurricane when it moves across the Leeward Islands on Monday night.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 30km from the centre and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 165km and the estimated minimum central pressure is 977mb.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for… *Dominica *Guadeloupe *St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat *Martinique
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for... *Pureto Rico… Vieques…and Culebra *U.S. Virgin Islands *British Virgin Islands *Saba and St. Eustatius *St. Maarten *St. Martin and St. Barthelemy *Anguilla A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for… *Antigua and Barbuda *Saba and St. Eustatius *St. Lucia A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for... *Barbados *St. Vincent and the Grenadines
This system can trigger moderate to heavy rainfall on Sunday night and into Monday across the Windward Islands, and from Monday morning in Trinidad and Tobago.