Hurricane Maria has maximum sustained winds of 175 MPH; 280 KM/H with a minimum pressure estimated at 909 mb, “which is the tenth lowest minimum pressure recorded in an Atlantic basin hurricane.” http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCUAT5+shtml/200358.shtml “the intensity of a tropical cyclone is determined by either the storm’s maximum sustained winds or lowest barometric pressure.”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atlantic_hurricane_records#By_pressure. The hurricanes with pressure lower than Maria are Wilma 2005 – 882 MB; Gilbert 1988- 888 MB; “Labor Day” 1935- 892 MB; Rita 2005 – 895 MB; Allen 1980 899 MB; Camille 1969, 900 MB; Katrina 2005 902 MB; Mitch 1998 and Dean 2007 at 905 MB Hurricane. There have been only 7 hurricanes with windspeeds higher than 175 MPH. Irma is one of them. Allen had sustained winds of 190 MPH (310 KM/H). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atlantic_hurricane_records#By_highest_sustained_winds https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atlantic_hurricane_records#By_pressure
“Storm (1941) by George R. Stewart… depicts a Junior Meteorologist who has a personal habit of naming storms. This helped to popularize the idea of naming hurricanes. It was made into a Disney TV movie “A Storm named Maria” in 1958, and inspired the song “They Call the Wind Maria” from 1951’s Lerner and Lowe play “Paint Your Wagon“. http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/J4.html
Link to the song “They Call the Wind Maria“: http://youtu.be/ByqYEzugleE
“History of Hurricane Names
For several hundred years many hurricanes in the West Indies were named after the particular saint’s day on which the hurricane occurred. Ivan R. Tannehill describes in his book “Hurricanes” the major tropical storms of recorded history and mentions many hurricanes named after saints. For example, there was “Hurricane Santa Ana” which struck Puerto Rico with exceptional violence on July 26, 1825, and “San Felipe” (the first) and “San Felipe” (the second) which hit Puerto Rico on September 13 in both 1876 and 1928.
Tannehill also tells of Clement Wragge, an Australian meteorologist who began giving women’s names to tropical storms before the end of the 19th century.
An early example of the use of a woman’s name for a storm was in the novel “Storm” by George R. Stewart, published by Random House in 1941, and since filmed by Walt Disney. During World War II this practice became widespread in weather map discussions among forecasters, especially Army and Navy meteorologists who plotted the movements of storms over the wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean.
In 1953, the United States abandoned a confusing two-year old plan to name storms by a phonetic alphabet (Able, Baker, Charlie) when a new, international phonetic alphabet was introduced. That year, the United States began using female names for storms.
The practice of naming hurricanes solely after women came to an end in 1978 when men’s and women’s names were included in the Eastern North Pacific storm lists. In 1979, male and female names were included in lists for the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.” The link also gives a list of names retired because the storms were so bad. Without a doubt Maria’s name will be retired: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames_history.shtml
Hurricane Maria Tropical Cyclone Update
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017
1200 AM AST Wed Sep 20 2017
…1200 AM AST POSITION AND INTENSITY UPDATE…
…SUSTAINED HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS REPORTED ON ST. CROIX…
A sustained wind of 75 mph (120 km/h) with a wind gust to 114 mph
(183 km/h) was recently reported in the western portion of St. Croix
in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
SUMMARY OF 1200 AM AST…0400 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 20 MI…35 KM SSW OF ST. CROIX
ABOUT 105 MI…170 KM SE OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…175 MPH…280 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH…17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…908 MB…26.81 INCHES
“ZCZC MIATCDAT5 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
Hurricane Maria Discussion Number 16
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL152017
1100 PM AST Tue Sep 19 2017
Since the previous advisory, WSR-88D radar data from San Juan
Puerto Rico has shown the development of concentric eyewalls and
a double-wind maximum. This has led to an increase in the size of
the 50- and 64-kt wind radii. An earlier Air Force Reserve
reconnaissance aircraft measured a peak flight-level wind of 157 kt
and a few SFMR winds of 149-152 kt in the small inner eyewall
between 2200 and 0000 UTC this evening. Based on these data, the
initial wind speed was increased to 150 kt. The minimum pressure
estimated from earlier dropsonde data is 909 mb, which is the tenth
lowest minimum pressure recorded in an Atlantic basin hurricane.
Since the outer eyewall has become better defined and the winds are
increasing within the outer eyewall, it is likely that Maria’s
intensification will finally cease. However, Maria is expected to
remain an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane until landfall in
Puerto Rico early Wednesday. The passage of the core over Puerto
Rico should cause some weakening, but Maria is likely to remain a
major hurricane for several more days. Increasing shear and cooler
waters over the western Atlantic in the wake of hurricanes Irma and
Jose will likely lead to additional weakening late in the period.
Maria is moving between west-northwest and northwest at about 9 kt.
A weak ridge over the western Atlantic is expected to steer the
hurricane on this general heading over the next couple of days.
This track will bring the center of Maria over Puerto Rico and just
north of the eastern Dominican Republic over the next day or so.
After that time, a break in the ridge should cause Maria to turn
north-northwestward, then northward by late in the week. The track
guidance is tightly clustered through 72 hours, yielding fairly high
confidence in the track forecast through that time. There is some
increase in the spread of the models at days 4 and 5, with the GFS
and HWRF farther west and faster, while the ECMWF is along the
eastern edge of the guidance and slow. For now, the NHC track
forecast is between the various consensus models at 96 and 120 h.
1. Maria’s core will pass near or over St. Croix within the next
few hours and will approach the southeastern coast of Puerto Rico
early Wednesday, bringing life-threatening wind, storm surge, and
rainfall impacts to portions of those islands. Everyone in these
areas should follow advice from local officials to avoid
life-threatening flooding from storm surge and rainfall.
2. Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains
and on high-rise buildings could be much stronger than the
near-surface winds indicated in this advisory.
3. A Hurricane Warning is also in effect for the remainder of the
Virgin Islands and the northern coast of the Dominican Republic,
where Maria is expected to bring dangerous wind, storm surge, and
4. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the southeastern Bahamas and
the Turks and Caicos, where Maria could bring hurricane conditions
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INIT 20/0300Z 17.3N 64.7W 150 KT 175 MPH
12H 20/1200Z 18.0N 65.8W 145 KT 165 MPH
24H 21/0000Z 18.9N 67.3W 125 KT 145 MPH
36H 21/1200Z 19.9N 68.6W 120 KT 140 MPH
48H 22/0000Z 20.9N 69.7W 115 KT 130 MPH
72H 23/0000Z 23.3N 71.4W 110 KT 125 MPH
96H 24/0000Z 26.2N 72.2W 105 KT 120 MPH
120H 25/0000Z 29.5N 72.5W 90 KT 105 MPH