Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, September 16, 2017 – Providenciales –…DEPRESSION BECOMES TROPICAL STORM MARIA……ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST…SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…INFORMATIONLOCATION…12.3N 52.6WABOUT 620 MI…1000 KM ESE OF THE LESSER ANTILLESMAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…50 MPH…85 KM/HPRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 275 DEGREES AT 20 MPH…31 KM/HMINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1002 MB…29.59 INCHESWATCHES AND WARNINGSCHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:The government of Antigua has issued a Hurricane Watch for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat.SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…* Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and MontserratA Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…* St. Lucia* Martinique and Guadeloupe* Dominica* Barbados* St. Vincent and the GrenadinesA Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours. Interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of this system. Additional Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches will likely be issued tonight or early Sunday. For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by your national meteorological service.DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOKAt 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 12.3 North, longitude 52.6 West. Maria is moving toward the west near 20 mph (31 km/h). A slower west-northwest motion is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, Maria is expected to approach the Leeward Islands on Monday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours, and Maria is forecast to be a hurricane when it approaches the Leeward Islands early next week. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 mb (29.59 inches).HAZARDS AFFECTING LANDWIND: Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Monday night or Tuesday, with tropical storm conditions possible on Monday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the tropical storm watch area on Monday.STORM SURGE: A dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels within the hurricane watch area.RAINFALL: Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6 to 12 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches across portions of the central and southern Leeward Islands through Tuesday night. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches will be possible for portions of the northern Leeward Islands through Tuesday night. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.SURF: Swells generated by Maria are expected to begin affecting the Lesser Antilles by Sunday night. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.