KNMI: TROPICAL CYCLONE BULLETIN NO. 17 – Maria

Listen to the latest address of the Lieutenant Governor, Jonathan Johnson, to the Saba residents:

TROPICAL CYCLONE BULLETIN NO. 17

Date: Wednesday September 20, 2017 Time: 05:02 local time

Watches/warnings:

The Strike Phase of the Tropical Storm Warning will remain in effect for Saba for probably several more hours. A Tropical Cyclone Advisory concerning heavy precipitation and rough seas will remain in effect for St. Eustatius (Statia). The Hurricane Watch for both St. Eustatius (Statia) and Saba has been discontinued.

Early this morning at 05:00 AST (0900 UTC), the center of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 17.9 North, longitude 65.6 West, which is 252 km (157 mi) to the west of Saba. Maria is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). A west-northwest to northwest motion is expected to continue through today, followed by a northwestward motion on Thursday. On the forecast track the eye of Maria will make landfall in Puerto Rico in a couple of hours, cross Puerto Rico today, and pass just north of the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic tonight and Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are near 155 mph (250 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and it should maintain this intensity until landfall.

Effect on local conditions

Winds:

Winds are south-southeast and initially near-gale force, 7 Bft. On Saba, winds are Tropical-Storm force at first, 8 Bft (60-70 km/h), with mainly near showers and thunderstorms a risk of gusts 90-100 km/h. On Wednesday morning, winds will gradually decrease to southeast 6 Bft, Wednesday afternoon a further decrease to around 5 Bft is expected. On Thursday, southeasterly winds will gradually further decrease to moderate, 4 Bft.

Seas:

Swells generated by Maria are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Waves will be 12-18 ft this morning from a southerly direction. This afternoon decreasing to 8-12 ft and shifting to a west- to southwesterly direction. This evening further decreasing to 5-8 ft. After Wednesday 2-4 ft of swell from a westerly, from Friday shifting to a northerly direction is expected to last at least until Saturday.

Rainfall:

Wednesday occasional heavy showers and thunderstorms are expected. In the course of today, showers will gradually decrease in intensity. High amounts of precipitation are expected, 1-3 inches (25-75 mm), on Saba locally possibly 4 inches (100 mm). On Thursday, some showers and thunderstorms are still expected with precipitation amounts of 0.2-0.6 inches (5-15 mm) and a risk of an isolated 1 inch (25 mm) of precipitation.

Local authorities and residents of Saba and St. Eustatius are advised to continue monitoring the further progress of this weather system and to take all necessary measures to safeguard life and property.

Center’s latest and forecast positions:

SABA:
Till Mon Sep 25 02:00 AST, the nearest position is estimated at:
Wed Sep 20 05:00 AST 17.9N 65.6W Category 4 Hurricane 252 km (157 mi) W of Saba

Wed Sep 20 05:00 AST 17.9N 65.6W Category 4 Hurricane     252 km (157 mi) W of Saba
Wed Sep 20 14:00 AST 18.6N 66.7W Category 4 Hurricane     382 km (237 mi) WNW of Saba
Thu Sep 21 02:00 AST 19.5N 68.2W Category 4 Hurricane      563 km (350 mi) WNW of Saba
Thu Sep 21 14:00 AST 20.5N 69.4W Category 4 Hurricane      722 km (449 mi) WNW of Saba
Fri Sep 22 02:00 AST 21.5N 70.5W Category 4 Hurricane        874 km (543 mi) WNW of Saba
Sat Sep 23 02:00 AST 24.2N 72.0W Category 3 Hurricane     1166 km (725 mi) NW of Saba
Sun Sep 24 02:00 AST 27.3N 73.0W Category 3 Hurricane    1469 km (913 mi) NW of Saba
Mon Sep 25 02:00 AST 30.5N 73.0W Category 2 Hurricane   1739 km (1080 mi) NW of Saba

Definitions:

TROPICAL STORM STRIKE WARNING: A warning for tropical storm conditions, including possible sustained winds within the range 63-117 km/h (39-73 mph) (34-63) knots are expected in specified areas in 9-6 hours of less.

Next bulletin: Wednesday September 20, 2017, 11:02 local time
For more info, go to  http://knmidc.org .

Message Island Governor Jonathan Johnson from Facebook:

Good afternoon residents of Saba,

This is island governor Jonathan Johnson with the latest update regarding hurricane Maria. As of 2 p.m., Maria is located at 14.9 degree North and 16.4 degrees West. The movement is West/Northwest at 9 mph. The current winds are 125 mph.

A few updates. 
The shelters will be open this evening as of 7 p.m. The last check-in will be 10 p.m. We do advise that if you have any doubts about your house to go to a family member, friend or as a last resort the shelters. If you do choose to go to the shelter, bring your own water, food and medicines.

Because conditions will worsen tomorrow Tuesday, we decided to have a curfew as of tonight at 10.30 p.m. until Wednesday until the weather improves. 

Again after the hurricane, the emergency services will make a damage assessment. We also ask you to help clean up. 

The power plant will close down as a preventative measure. We will inform you tonight as the exact closing (and turn off of power) and it will not reopen until it is safe to go to the plant. Safety of all our residents is a top priority. That is why we take these preventative measures.
Thank you.

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