GOES 16 Infrared Imagery of Maria, courtesy of RealEarth.

Hurricane Maria’s Track May Depend on Jose

 

In what seems to be about day seven hundred in an endless cycle of Tropical news, we have plenty more to talk about. Hurricane Maria underwent rapid intensification last night, strengthening from a Category 1 to a Category 3 storm. It developed a very tight core with a rapid increase of lightning around the center — a classic foreboding of rapid intensification. This intensification has continued throughout the day, as it has now become a Category 4 hurricane with 130mph winds. This was evident because a classic pinhole eye opened up, reminiscent of some of the strongest hurricanes, such as Hurricane Gilbert. It is looking like Puerto Rico will take a direct hit from Maria, as perhaps a Category 4 or even 5 hurricane. Afterward, there is a lot of spread in potential outcomes, though the general pattern at large does signal a landfall somewhere along the East Coast. But a big variable will be how the remnants of Jose behave, something that will be very hard to forecast.

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