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Hurricane Maria following similar path to Irma

Ben Domensino, Monday September 18, 2017 - 16:33 EST

The second hurricane in a fortnight to affect the Caribbean will cause destructive winds and flooding rain in the coming days.

At 11pm Atlantic Standard Time on Sunday (1pm on Monday in Sydney), category one Hurricane Maria was located about 165km northeast of Barbados, with one minute average wind speeds reaching 140km/h near its core.

At that time, the system was gaining strength and moving towards the hurricane-weary Lesser Antilles group of islands.

Maria is expected to intensify into a category 3 major hurricane during Monday before crossing the Lesser Antilles. The system may affect Puerto Rico as a category four hurricane on Wednesday, before affecting the Dominican Republic and Bahamas later in the week.

Maria is the second major hurricane in less than two weeks to impact the Caribbean islands.

Earlier in this month, Hurricane Irma left a trail of destruction between Barbuda and Florida, with some islands still uninhabitable. Irma became the first hurricane on record in the Atlantic Basin to maintain average wind speeds of 298km/h for 24 hours.

Unfortunately, Maria will affect some of the same islands that were devastated by Irma and completely reverse the recent efforts to recover and rebuild.

The latest hurricane advisories are available on America's National Hurricane Centre website: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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