MIAMI (WCBD) – Hurricane Maria is slightly stronger, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As of 2 p.m., Thursday, September 21, the storm’s maximum sustained winds were at 120 mph.
It is currently 85 miles east-northeast of the Dominican Republic and is moving in a northwest direction at 9 mph. The center was located by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft just offshore of the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic.
RELATED: News 2 Hurricane Central
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Puerto Plata
- The 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 Andres/Boca Chica
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Central Bahamas
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 continue to pass offshore of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic today, and then move near or just east of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas tonight and on
Main impacts from Maria should stay well off of our coast. The storm will have a more of a closer call farther north.
Hurricane Wind Scale
|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.