The United Kingdom and Ireland are bracing for wind gusts up to 80 mph as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia approach the British Isles, The Associated Press reports.
Ireland’s Met Eireann weather service issued a “status red” warning for the western Irish counties of Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork and Kerry. It said Ophelia could bring winds of 50 mph and gusts of more than 80 mph on Monday, with the potential for structural damage, high seas and flooding.
Britain’s Meteorological Office also warned of very windy weather Monday in Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England.
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Ophelia was a Category 3 hurricane with peak winds near 115 mph as it moved northeast at 28 mph, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. It’s likely to weaken by the time it makes landfall Monday and Tuesday, forecasters said.
Monday is the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987, which killed almost 20 people in Britain and knocked down 15 million trees.
11 P.M. UPDATE: Nate has strengthened to 70 mph, just shy of hurricane status, as it moves toward the Gulf of Mexico and expected landfall along the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. It’s about 100 miles west-northwest of the western tip of Cuba as it moves north-northwest at 22 mph.
8 P.M. UPDATE: The U.S. Gulf Coast is bracing for a fast-moving blast of wind, heavy rain and rising water as deadly Tropical Storm Nate threatens to reach hurricane strength before a weekend landfall.
By 8 p.m. Eastern time, Nate had strengthened to 65 mph as it moved north-northwest at 22 mph around 90 miles northeast of Cozumel, Mexico. That’s about 570 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
The storm is expected to become a hurricane before making landfall late Saturday or early Sunday on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in effect for southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi and Alabama coasts.
5 p.m. UPDATE: A hurricane warning has been issued for metro New Orleans as Tropical Storm — and likely soon-to-be Hurricane — Nate neared the northeastern tip of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 p.m. advisory.
It also said a tropical storm warning and a storm surge warning had been extended to Florida’s Panhandle east to the Okaloosa/Walton county line, around Fort Walton Beach.
At 5 p.m., Nate was about 80 miles east of the resort island of Cozumel. Top sustained winds were 60 mph, just short of the 74 mph that would make Nate the season’s ninth hurricane.
It was moving north-northwest and was expected to turn to the north and northeast and “make landfall over the northern Gulf coast Saturday night or Sunday,” as a hurricane, the advisory said.
11 a.m. UPDATE: Hurricane and storm-surge warnings have been posted for the northern Gulf Coast for Saturday night’s expected arrival of what by then likely will be Hurricane Nate.
An 11 a.m. National Hurricane Center advisory said authorities issued a Hurricane Warning for a stretch of coast from Grand Isle, La., to the to the Alabama/Florida state line. A Tropical Storm Warning now is in effect for metropolitan New Orleans and from west of Grand Isle to Morgan City, La.
Storm Surge watches and warnings were up from western Louisiana as far east as the Florida Panhandle near Apalachicola. as well as the New Orleans area’s expansive, and vulnerable, Lake Pontchartrain.
Hurricane Watch is now in effect east of the Alabama/Florida line to the Okaloosa/Walton county line in the Florida Panhandle. On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 29 counties, covering from Pensacola to Gainesville.
Cuba also issued tropical storm watches and warnings for some provinces.
At 11 a.m., Tropical Storm Nate was 175 miles southeast of the Mexican resort island of Cozumel. Top sustained winds were up to 50 mph, not far from the 74 mph threshold for Nate to become the season’s ninth hurricane.
The storm, which had been crawling at 9 mph Thursday, now was racing north-northwest at 21 mph. It was expected to move across the northwestern Caribbean Sea today and be near or over Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula this evening, then approach the northern Gulf coast Saturday.
“Nate is expected to become a hurricane by the time it reaches the northern Gulf of Mexico,” the advisory said.
Forecasters say they expect the system to become the season’s ninth hurricane as it nears Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.
At 8 a.m., Nate’s center was off the coast of Honduras, about 230 miles south-southeast of the resort island of Cozumel, Mexico. It had sped up to 14 mph, from 9 mph on Thursday.
The storm was moving north-northwest, “and this general track with a marked increase in forward speed is expected during the next day or two,” the hurricane center said in its 8 a.m. advisory. It said Nate should move back over water today and reach the Yucatan by tonight, then approach the northern Gulf Coast Saturday evening.
Top sustained winds were near 45 mph, and Nate “is expected to become a hurricane by the time it reaches the northern Gulf of Mexico” on Saturday night, the advisory said.
Tropical-storm and hurricane warnings, as well as a storm-surge watch, remained in place for Honduras and Nicaragua, Mexico, and a stretch of the U.S. Gulf Coast from the Texas-Louisiana state line to Florida’s Panhandle.
The storm is expected to dump as much as a foot of rain across the Gulf Coast this weekend. It first will drop as much as 15 inches across Central America, and up to 8 inches on the eastern Yucatan, Cuba and the Cayman Islands.
8 p.m. UPDATE: The shower and thunderstorm activity over the southwestern Caribbean
is beginning to show some signs of organization and now has a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical system over the next five days, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Conditions are forecast to steadily become more conducive for development, and the system is expected to become a tropical depression within the next few days, according to the hurricane center’s 8 p.m. tropical weather outlook. There’s a 50 percent chance of development over the next 48 hours.
The large disturbance should move slowly northwestward to northward across or near the eastern portions of Nicaragua and Honduras, then into the northwestern Caribbean on Thursday or Friday, forecasters say. It’s likely to emerge over the southern Gulf of Mexico by the weekend.
Interests in Nicaragua and Honduras should monitor the progress of this system over the next couple of
days. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance Wednesday afternoon, if necessary.
Meanwhile, a trough of low pressure extending northward from Cuba continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms across South Florida, the northwestern Bahamas, and the adjacent Atlantic waters.
Wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph have been recorded in some of the heavier showers, the hurricane center said.
Although significant development of this system is not expected due to strong upper-level winds, brief squalls will likely produce locally heavy rainfall and strong gusty winds over portions of the Bahamas and South Florida during the next couple of days. There’s just a 10 percent chance of tropical development.
11 p.m. update: Sustained gusts have increased to 85 mph and continues moving west-northwest at 13 mph. Maria is expected to become a category 4 hurricane in 48 hours.
Additional Hurricane and Tropical storm Warnings may be issued for portion of the Leeward and Virgin Islands on Monday, and Hurricane Watches will likely be issued for Puerto Rico and the nearby islands Monday morning.
A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 5 to 7 feet above normal tide levels when the center of Maria moves across the Leeward Islands.
Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches across the central and southern Leeward Islands, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands through Wednesday night.
8 p.m. update: Hurricane Maria is now packing 80-mph winds as it moves west-northwest at 15 mph toward the Lesser Antilles. It’s about 125 miles east-northeast of Barbados, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
France has issued a hurricane warning for Martinique. Previous warnings remain in Guadeloupe; Dominica; and St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat. There are also hurricane watches, plus tropical storm warnings and watches, for other islands including St. Lucia, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten, and Barbados.
Additional tropical storm or hurricane watches and warnings will likely be issued tonight or on Monday.
Maria Is expected to gain power and could be near major hurricane strength while crossing through the Leeward Islands late Monday on a path aiming toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
It could make a direct hit on Puerto Rico, which was spared the full brunt of Irma, though power was knocked out to much of the island.
Meanwhile, long-lived Hurricane Jose was moving northward off the U.S. Atlantic Seaboard, kicking up dangerous surf and rip currents. It wasn’t expected to make landfall but tropical storm watches were posted for all of the coast from Delaware to Massachusetts’ Cape Cod.
At 8 p.m., Jose was centered about 315 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and was moving north at 9 mph. It had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.
Tropical Storm Lee has weakened into a depression far out in the Atlantic, no threat to land.
Tropical Storm Maria is now a hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph
Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands Monday night and then over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday.
Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Maria could be near major hurricane intensity when it moves across the Leeward Islands Monday night.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.
11 a.m.: Tropical Storm Maria grows wider as Jose strengthens
11 a.m. update: National Hurricane Center forecasters are reporting that Tropical Storm Maria grew wider as it is moving across the Atlantic.
Its tropical storm force winds extended out up to 70 miles wide from 60 miles wide reported for the 8 a.m. forecast. It is still heading west-northwest at about 15 miles per hour and is expected to cross over the Leeward Islands by tonight.
Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph with higher
gusts. Maria is expected to become a hurricane later today.
By mid-week, Maria could affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as a dangerous major hurricane, and hurricane watches could be issued for these islands as early as
Several computer models have it veering north and avoiding Florida.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 90 miles per hour as it slowly moves toward the northeast U.S. coast.
Forecasters expect it to remain a hurricane through Tuesday. It’s expected to produce dangerous surf and rip currents along the coast.
5 a.m. UPDATE: Tropical Storm Maria has Caribbean islands on watch
Tropical Storm Maria continued on its path toward the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean Sea early Sunday, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. update.
The storm, still about 2,000 miles from the United States, was 460 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and was moving west-northwest at about 15 mph. It is due to be near the Leeward Islands, which stretch from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Dominica, by late Monday, and its wind speed could make it a hurricane at that time, forecasters said.
Hurricane watches are in effect in Antigua, Barbados, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis. Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Saba, St. Eustastius, St. Maarten and Anguilla. Tropical storm watches are in effect for St. Lucia, Martinique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
No watches or warnings were in effect for Tropical Storm Lee, which is east of Maria in the Atlantic. It is moving west toward the open ocean and is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by Tuesday, the hurricane center said.
At 11 p.m., Maria was about 545 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and 2,000 miles from Palm Beach. It was moving west at 16 mph. Top sustained winds were at 50 mph. It would become a hurricane if top sustained winds reach 76 mph. A hurricane watch was posted for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Anguilla, and Guadeloupe, and a tropical storm watch was in place for St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
At 11 p.m., Lee was about 760 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and some 3,700 miles from Palm Beach. It was moving west at 8 mph, down from 12 mph. It had top sustained winds of 40 mph. Jose was about 465 miles south-southeast Cape Hatteras in North Carolina and about the same distance west-southeast of Bermuda. Winds still were at 80 mph. It was moving north at 7 mph.
UPDATE 8 PM:
The busy tropics hosted three named storms Saturday, with new Tropical Storm Maria possibly emerging as a tangible threat for storm-weary Floridians.
Maria became the season’s 13th named storm at 5 p.m. Saturday, and forecasters said it quickly could grow to the season’s seventh hurricane.
At 8 p.m., Maria was about 590 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and 2,000 miles from Palm Beach. It was moving west at 19 mph. Top sustained winds were at 50 mph. It would become a hurricane if top sustained winds reach 76 mph.
“Maria is forecast to be a hurricane when it approaches the Leeward Islands early (this) week,” an advisory said.
A new hurricane watch was posted for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and Guadeloupe, and a tropical storm watch was in place for St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
A collection of “spaghetti” tracks assembled by the South Florida Water Management District shows Maria taking the oft-followed route toward Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, but then keeping offshore. Of course, things could change. Hurricane Center specialist John Cangialosi, in an 11 a.m. discussion, noted that “confidence in the track and forward speed of this system is low due to the spread in the models and the current lack of a well-defined center.”
UPDATE 5 P.M.: Tropical Storm Maria has formed, the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 p.m. advisory.
At 5 p.m., the season’s 13th named storm was about 620 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and was moving west at 20 mph. Top sustained winds had jumped to 50 mph, and if they reach 76 mph, Maria would become the season’s seventh hurricane.
A new hurricane watch was posted for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat, and a tropical storm watch was in place for St. Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Maria is forecast to be a hurricane when it approaches the Leeward Islands early next week,” the 5 p.m. advisory said.
UPDATE 2 PM: A system that could become Tropical Storm Maria later Saturday — and which eventually might become a tangible threat for storm-weary Floridians — already has prompted a tropical storm watch for the Caribbean’s easternmost islands.
The National Hurricane Center said in a 2 p.m. advisory that the system had become Tropical Depression 15 and that a tropical storm watch was up for the islands of St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Additional tropical storm or hurricane watches will likely be issued later today,” the 2 p.m. Saturday advisory said. “The depression is forecast to become a tropical storm later today and could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Leeward Islands.”
A collection of “spaghetti” tracks assembled by the South Florida Water Management District shows the system taking the oft-followed route toward Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, but then keep it off shore. But that of course could change.
“The NHC track forecast takes the system across the Leeward Islands in a few days and then near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico,” hurricane center specialist John Cangialosi said in an 11 a.m. discussion. But he noted that “confidence in the track and forward speed of this system is low due to the spread in the models and the current lack of a well-defined center.”
At 2 p.m. Saturday, the storm was at latitude 11.9 North, longitude 51.6 West., about 700 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles. It was moving west at about 20 mph,
Top sustained winds already were at 35 mph, just 2 mph below the threshold to make it a tropical storm. It would become a hurricane if top sustained winds reach 76 mph.
UPDATE, 11 p.m.: Hurricane Irma remains a category 3 storm with top sustained winds of 115 mph, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center says. It’s currently about 710 miles from the Leeward Islands, where hurricane watches are in effect. Irma is expected to reach the islands Tuesday night.
Irma is moving to the west-southwest at 14 mph, but officials say it’s too early to say where Irma will be at the end of the week.
UPDATE, 8 p.m.: After a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft reached the storm this evening, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. advisory that Hurricane Irma is expected to be near the northern Leeward Islands by late Tuesday.
Irma, which has maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, is about 2,025 miles southeast of West Palm Beach and moving west at 14 mph. Forecasters say the storm’s hurricane-force winds extend about 35 miles from the center, with tropical-storm-force winds out to about 140 miles.
The storm is forecast to strengthen some in the next 48 hours, though NHC specialists say it’s too early to say what, if any, impacts will affect the Bahamas, Florida or any other part of the U.S. mainland.
UPDATE, 5 p.m.: Many of the Leeward Islands have issued a hurricane watch in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, which is expected to arrive late Tuesday.
Among those who’ve issued watches are: Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.
According to the National Hurricane Center, other islands among the Leewards, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico should all monitor Irma.
In addition, a NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft is heading to investigate Irma, the National Hurricane Center reported.
Irma continues to be a Category 3 hurricane with top sustained winds of 115 mph. It is currently about 790 miles west of the Leeward Islands and moving west at 14 mph.
UPDATE, 11 a.m.:Hurricane Irma, still a Category 3, continued to head west-southwest toward the Leeward Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm continues to have maximum sustained winds of 115 mph, and is moving at 14 mph.
The hurricane center reported that hurricane and tropical storm watches “will likely be required for portions” of the Leeward Islands later today or tonight.
According to a hurricane center briefing, Irma is expected to be near the Bahamas by late this week, but added that the uncertainty of the track for the southeastern U.S. is moderate to high. It’s still too early to determine track and wind speed for South Florida at this time, according to meteorologist James Thomas.
Nonetheless, the center adds it’s good to be prepared, and review hurricane action plans now and to start making necessary precautions.
The next update is scheduled for 5 p.m.
ORIGINAL STORY: Now less than 1,000 miles east of the Leeward Islands, Hurricane Irma’s strength continues to rise and fall, and as of 5 a.m. today is a Category 3 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Maximum sustained winds were up to 115 miles per hour and the storm was heading west-southwest near 15 mph. The hurricane center expects Irma to strengthen on Monday night, and the storm may also shift its path to a more westerly direction.
At this time, no warnings or watches are in effect, but the hurricane center is suggesting the Leeward Islands monitor Irma’s progress.
11 p.m. UPDATE: Hurricane Irma continues to head west with 110 mph winds. The National Hurricane Center places the storm about 1,030 miles east of the Leeward Islands.
5 p.m. UPDATE: Hurricane Irma steamed stubbornly westward as a strong Category 2 hurricane Wednesday about 1,135 miles east of the Leeward Islands, leaving many in Florida trying to enjoy a holiday weekend while taking nervous glances at the elephant on the forecast map.
“At this point we’re telling people enjoy your Labor Day Weekend,” said Andrew Hagen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami. “But at some point, parts of the East Coast are going to need to monitor it closely.”
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, top winds were near 110 mph as it moved west at 15 mph.
Its is still expected to strengthen to a Category 3 or 4 storm by Wednesday with its projected track bending north, forecasters said.
A big question is what lies beyond its five-day cone — a gradual sweeping right turn into the Atlantic Ocean or an uncomfortable route toward the U.S. coastline.
8 P.M. UPDATE: Harvey is headed toward the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Dominica. The next update will be at 11 p.m.
Meanwhile, shower and thunderstorm activity associated with an area of low pressure about 1,000 miles east of the Leeward Islands has a 70 percent chance of developing into a tropical system. The next tropical outlook will be at 2 a.m.
Update 5 pm: Tropical Storm Harvey, the eighth named storm of the year, has formed, the National Hurricane Center said in a 5 p.m. advisory. It said a Hurricane Hunter plane that flew into the system had clocked top sustained winds at 40 mph, 3 mph over the threshold to become a tropical storm. At 5 p.m., the storm was about 250 miles east of Barbados and was moving west at about 18 mph. Its forecast track sends it into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as a minimal hurricane early next week. It said the system will bring rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches, with potentially life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, to the Windward Islands.
Update 2pm: A Hurricane Hunter plane is flying into Tropical Depression 9, which could become Tropical Storm Harvey by later today, the National Hurricane Center said in a 2 p.m. update. At 2 p.m., the system was about 295 miles east of Barbados, with 35 mph sustained winds at 35 mph. It was moving west at 17 mph.
Update 11 a.m.: Tropical Depression 9 has formed and could become Tropical Storm Harvey as early as this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said at 11 a.m. in its first advisory on the system.
At 11 a.m., the depression was about 365 miles east of Barbados, or about 2,000 miles east-southeast of Palm Beach. It was heading due west at about 17 mph, and the 5-day forecast pushes it into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula early next week.
It had top sustained winds of 35 mph, just 2 mph below the threshold to become a tropical storm. Tropical storm warnings were posted for Martinique, Barbados, St. Vincent, and the Grenadine and St. Lucia, and a watch for Dominica.
The Hurricane Center also said at 11 a.m. that Hurricane Gert, in the North Atlantic, is “quickly becoming extratropical, and the transition process should complete later today,” the update said. It said the system should bang into, and be swallowed by, another extratropical system in the next 48 hours.
The low-pressure system about 550 miles east of the Lesser Antilles became better organized overnight and could be a tropical depression later today or tonight. It has an 80 percent chance of forming in the next 48 hours. The hurricane center said it plans to issue advisories around midday.
A second area about halfway between the Lesser Antilles and the African Coast is moving west at 15 to 20 mph. The outlook did give the system a 50 percent chance of forming in the next 48 hours. But, it said, “upper-level wind are expected to become less conducive for tropical cyclone formation” by this weekend.
And a tropical wave near the Cabo Verde Islands, just off the African coast, could develop during the next several days while it moves westward to west-northwest at about 15 mph, the outlook said. It said the chance of formation in the next five days is 40 percent.
Gert is several hundred miles south of Cape Race, Newfoundland, and racing into the North Atlantic.