Maria weakens slightly to Category 3 hurricane

MIAMI (WCBD) – Hurricane Maria has weakened slightly to Category 3 status, according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of 2 p.m., Wednesday, September 20, the storm’s maximum sustained winds were at 115 mph.

It is currently 15 miles west of Arecibo, Puerto Rico and is moving in a northwest direction at 12 mph. The was located by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft just offshore of the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico.


RELATED: News 2 Hurricane Central


A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • the British Virgin Islands
  • Puerto Rico, Culebra, and Vieques
  • the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
  • Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeastern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • the Dominican Republic west of Puerto Plata to the northern border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti
  • the Dominican Republic west of Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Cabo Engano

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the area.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.


DOWNLOAD: 2017 Storm Team 2 Hurricane Guide


On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move away from the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon. The center will then pass
offshore of the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Thursday and then move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and
southeastern Bahamas Thursday night and Friday.

Main impacts from Maria should stay well of our coast. The storm will have a more of a closer call farther north.

Hurricane Wind Scale

Category Sustained Winds Damage
1 74-95 mph Very dangerous winds will produce some damage
2 96-110 mph Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage
3 (Major) 111-129 mph Devastating damage will occur
4 (Major) 130-156 mph Catastrophic damage will occur
5 (Major) 157 mph or higher Catastrophic damage will occur

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. The scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage.

Keep checking counton2.com for real-time updates on this story. To get breaking news alerts, download the free News 2 App for iPhone or Android. You can also sign up for email alerts.

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