5 pm Monday: Hurricane Maria Advisory

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

A Hurricane Warning has been issued for Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques.

The Meteorological Service of St. Lucia has changed the Hurricane Warning for that island to a Tropical Storm Warning.

The Government of the Dominican Republic has issued a Hurricane Watch from Isla Saona to Puerto Plata, and a Tropical Storm Watch west of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haiti border.

At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located by satellite imagery and data from the French radar on Martinique near latitude 15.1 North, longitude 60.7 West.  Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday.  On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move near Dominica and the adjacent Leeward Islands during the next few hours, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea the remainder of tonight and Tuesday, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts.  Maria is an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 to 36 hours, and Maria is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km).

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for... * Guadeloupe * Dominica * St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat * Martinique * U.S. Virgin Islands * British Virgin Islands * Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for... * Antigua and Barbuda * Saba and St. Eustatius * St. Maarten * Anguilla * St. Lucia

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for... * Saba and St. Eustatius * St. Maarten * St. Martin and St. Barthelemy * Anguilla * Isla Saona to Puerto Plata

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for... * St. Vincent and the Grenadines * West of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haiti border

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