Caribbean Hurricane Network

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2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season
| Arlene | Bret | Cindy | Don | Emily | Franklin | Gert | Harvey | Irma | Jose | Katia | Lee | Maria | Nate | Ophelia | Philippe | Rina | Sean | Tammy | Vince | Whitney |

Active Tropical Systems: Hurricane Jose, Remnants of Lee, Hurricane Maria
Atlantic Hurricane Season is from June 1 - November 30


GOES Satellite - Zoomed in on the Caribbean (15:15 UTC, 117 minutes ago)
Vertical gridlines 10° or about 650 miles (~1050 km) apart. [more satellite imagery].

Jose tools:
Lee tools:
Maria tools:

Tip: Try the My Satellite-tool for high resolution satelitte loop centered on your island

- - - Irma Person Tracker - Let's help each other find our loved ones! - - -
Red Cross: for reporting missing persons and "I am alive" messages:
French and Dutch West Indies: in English - en Francais, British Overseas Territories (BVI, Anguilla, TCI, ...), US Virgin Islands

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 07:50AM PDT - Dominica
As I wrote yesterday the eye of Category 5 Hurricane Maria went over Dominica. It will probably a while before I get first hand reports from my special hurricane correspondents on the island... I have at least heard from Guadeloupe and it looks like they came out ok.

Maria was downgraded to a Category 4, but is now up to Category 5 strength again, with 160 mph sustained winds (with higher gusts). It is heading for St.Croix now, where it might be a direct hit as a Category 5 storm in 18 hours. The Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is only 15 miles to the south. That means that just one wobble of the eye could bring it over the island... Luckily, the eye, with the strongest wind around it, is relatively small. Hurricane force winds (74+ mph) extend outward to 35 miles, so a little wobble or a few miles north or south can make a huge difference. Tropical force winds (39+ mph) extend outward up to 140 miles...

Also sorry to report that St.Thomas, St.John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda, will feel the effects of the storm. These were islands hard hit by Irma just two weeks ago. The CPA for St.Thomas is only 45 miles and for St.John 55 miles. Below satellite image with the track relative to St.Thomas, so show the size of the storm relative to the island... At least Maria will stay relatively far from St.Barts, St.Maarten/St.Martin and Anguilla.

After St.Croix it will be Puerto Rico, with the eye passing only 30 miles to the east of Ponce. Puerto Rico's sister islands' Vieques and Culebra, that were spared during Irma, are now much closer to the storm. The CPA for Vieques is only 17 miles...

As always, although I keep mentioning the track and closest point of approach of the center of the storm, keep in mind that a hurricane is not a point. Hazardous conditions can happen far from the eye. Also, forecasting is not an exact science, so these CPAs can get a lot closer (or further). Listen to the local authorities, and at least, check if you are in the 'cone of uncertainty', see link above. Stay safe everybody, I wish I had better news to report.... -Gert

- - - Maria Closest Point of Approach with St.Thomas - - -

Monday, September 18, 2017 20:01PM PDT - Category 5
With a heavy heart I am writing that the eye of Maria is currently over Dominica. Maria was upgraded earlier tonight to a Category 5 hurricane. That happened just before it made landfall on Dominica.... Sustained winds are currently 160 mph... The eye is relatively small (compared to Irma) and hurricane force winds extend outward 'only' 30 miles, tropical storm force winds up to 125 miles. There are already reports from HAM radio operators that there is significant damage to structures on Dominica. In addition the storm is moving relatively slow at 9 mph. This is not a good situation for the mountainous island of Dominica.

Further down the road, looking at the latest track the storm is expected to pass really close by St.Croix, on the southside, in 24 hours as a Category 5 storm. With the uncertainty in the track, St.Croix might actually get the eye wall... Things are also looking more dire for St.Thomas and St.John. Closest point of approach for them is only 40 and 50 miles, resp. With so many houses damaged by Irma and a lot of debris everywhere that will not be a good situation either.

After St.Croix it will be Puerto Rico. It is expected to hit the southeastern side near Humacao as 'just' a Category 4 storm, since the forecast shows a weakening, but who knows! In order to assist the people on Puerto Rico, I have added Ponce and Fajardo (the ferry terminal to Culebra/Vieques/USVI/BVI) to the Closest Point of Approach tool.

Finally, with the expected power outages, I received from Negilla on St.Lucia a neat video, showing how to make a safe lantern from a jar, an old t-shirt, and cooking oil. View it here. Below image of Maria over Dominica as I write this... -Gert

- - - Maria over Dominica - - -

Monday, September 18, 2017 16:29PM EDT - Maria, Maria

Good afternoon,

You would think one Category 5 hurricane for the season was more than enough when, right on Irma's heels, comes another hurricane with her eyes on the Category 5 prize: Maria. Let me say now: Maria means business. This is a dangerous storm with the potential to reach Cat 5 status in the next 12-24 hours meaning devastation rivaling Irmas for all in her path and right now, the bulls eye is on Dominica followed by Guadeloupe.

Dominica should see landfall within the next few hours with Maria probably arriving as a Category 4 and growing system. Satellite and radar presentations suggest her inner eyewall is consolidating strength in the heavy thunderstorm arena. Fortunately, if there is a fortunately, her eye diameter is only 15 miles wide so peak winds are in a small piece of Maria. Still, where they land, it will be catastrophic. This damage will be enhanced by the slower forward motion of 10 mph. Torrential rains, mudslides and flash flooding will also be experienced. Guadeloupe could also feel the eyewall of Maria. The surrounding islands will feel many of the same effects except for the eyewall itself as TS force winds stretch out up to 125 miles. Hence the numerous warnings in place.
 
Further down the road, it looks like all of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will feel her full fury with St. Croix looking to have a close encounter and Puerto Rico will have an unwanted house guest. The Governor has instituted a curfew for tomorrow at 10 am for the US Virgin Islands from my understanding of his conversation earlier so all preparations need to get done tonight. And curfew starts back up at 6 pm. With wobbles a frequent occurrence, a wobble more northward will place all the Virgin Islands in Maria's cross hairs. So prepare for the worst is the mantra for all.

I'll try to have more tomorrow if I can get out early enough as service is mostly non existent at home on the east end of St. Thomas. Stay safe!!!!

Dave

Monday, September 18, 2017 07:57AM PDT - Hurricane Maria
Maria has strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. It is expected to become a Category 4 in just 12 hours... Maria is now about 60 miles east of Martinique and on a track to make landfall in Dominica later today as probably a Category 4 hurricane. Again that proves how hard it is to forecast hurricane intensity since just a few days ago it only looked like this was at most going to be 'just' a Category 1 hurricane.

Reports from the islands (see list on the right) show conditions are ok so far. Many hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings are posted. See the advisories for more info, even some of the islands hard hit by Irma and had a brush of Jose... Hurricane force winds extend outward only 15 miles, and tropical storm force 125 miles, but that range will expand over time of course...

After Dominica Maria will be en route to Puerto Rico where a direct hit is expected in 2 days as a Category 4 with 150 mph winds (ie. borderline Category 5)... The storm's center will stay about 100-120 miles south of St.Maarten/St.Martin, St.Barts and Anguilla, islands devastated by Irma, so within tropical storm force winds range, but not hurricane force winds. St.Croix, that was spared during Irma will now feel the force of Maria. As of now it will just pass about 30 miles south of the island Wednesday early morning. Luckily St.Thomas, St.John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda will be a bit further removed from Maria (60-80 miles), however with the uncertainties of the forecast the advisories give St.Thomas a 94% chance of enduring tropical storm winds and 45% chance of hurricane force winds...

With a lot of debris still laying around and many people with leaking or no roofs this is not going to be fun... And as always, a hurricane is not a point, don't focus on the eye/track alone. Use the tools above to see if you are in the Cone of Uncertainty and take measures as needed. Stay safe, don't do stupid things. -Gert

... Older discussions >>

Current Tropical Weather Outlook (NHC/TPC):
Accompanying satellite image (pop-up, source: NHC)
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
800 AM EDT Tue Sep 19 2017

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Hurricane
Jose, located a few hundred miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts,
North Carolina, and on Hurricane Maria, located over the
northeastern Caribbean Sea.

A small low pressure area, the remnants of Lee, is located roughly
midway between the Cabo Verde Islands and the Leeward Islands.
Environmental conditions could become marginally conducive for
redevelopment of a tropical cyclone by late in the week while the
system moves northwestward to northward over the central Atlantic
Ocean.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...20 percent.

$$
Forecaster Stewart
More detail in the Tropical Weather Discussion or view the Graphicast Image

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Latest local updates from the special
hurricane correspondents on the islands:
- Vieques (PR) [Sep 19 13:08]
- Haiti [Sep 19 13:08]
- Dominica [Sep 19 12:41]
- Nevis [Sep 19 12:32]
- Anguilla [Sep 19 11:33]
- Antigua [Sep 19 11:22]
- St.Croix [Sep 19 11:11]
- Puerto Rico [Sep 19 10:46]
- Guadeloupe [Sep 19 9:33]
- St.Maarten/St.Martin [Sep 19 9:21]
- St.John [Sep 19 7:54]
- Dominican Republic [Sep 19 7:06]
- Grenada [Sep 19 6:44]
- St.Lucia [Sep 19 4:25]
- Trinidad & Tobago [Sep 19 2:38]
- Montserrat [Sep 18 21:10]
- Bonaire [Sep 18 21:02]
- Tortola & Virgin Gorda [Sep 18 19:44]
- Relief Efforts/Where to Donate [Sep 18 17:12]
- Turks & Caicos [Sep 18 16:40]
- Martinique [Sep 18 16:26]
- Barbados [Sep 18 15:06]
- Belize [Sep 18 13:59]
- St.Vincent & Grenadines [Sep 18 10:38]
- St.Thomas [Sep 18 6:31]
- Culebra (PR) [Sep 16 6:01]
- Bahamas [Sep 14 22:15]
- St.Barts [Sep 14 12:26]
- Curaçao [Sep 12 22:12]
- General Update [Sep 12 18:52]
- Florida Keys [Sep 10 11:20]
- Jamaica [Sep 9 8:46]
- Statia [Sep 9 4:47]
- Barbuda [Sep 8 17:23]
- Saba [Sep 7 1:00]
- Cayman Islands [Sep 5 21:46]
- Bermuda [Sep 2 6:30]
- Margarita Is., Venezuela [Aug 18 12:25]
- Mexico (incl. Cozumel & Cancun) [Aug 8 14:48]

Only reports received for this season are listed. See the archive for previous years.

Links to excellent websites:
- Navy/NRL Monterey
- WeatherUnderground
- NOAA/NESDIS (floater loops)
- RAMSDIS Imagery
- Radar Composite - E-Carib.
- Caribbean/Atl. buoy data
- RT model guidance (RAL/NCAR)
- STORM2K forum
- Tracking Waves (McNoldy)
- Tang/UAlbany (model tracks)
- tropicaltidbits.com
- ECMWF Model Forecast
- more...

Storm definitions by wind speed:
- Tropical Depression <39mph
- Tropical Storm 39-73mph
- Cat.1 Hurricane 74-95mph
- Cat.2 Hurricane 96-110mph
- Cat.3 Hurricane 111-129mph
- Cat.4 Hurricane 130-156mph
- Cat.5 Hurricane >=157mph
More info in the Practical Guide

Wind force relative to Category 1:
- Tropical Storm 39mph: 0.28x
- Cat.1 Hurricane 74mph: 1x
- Cat.2 Hurricane 96mph: 1.7x
- Cat.3 Hurricane 111mph: 2.3x
- Cat.4 Hurricane 130mph: 3.1x
- Cat.5 Hurricane 157mph: 4.5x
- Irma 185mph: 6.3x



- - - Local hurricane correspondents wanted! - - -

The local hurricane correspondents are the heart and soul of stormCARIB. They are the people who live on the island and write to us what is going on around them. First hand very local personal reports instead of very limited or sensationalized coverage by the general media. Do you live on one of the islands? We need your help! We are looking for more people who are interested in sending us a few paragraphs about the situation on your island before, during and after a storm hits. You don't need to be a weatherman or expert on the subject, just share with us what you know, feel and see on your island. Your help will be really appreciated by Caribbean people living abroad with family living on the islands, future visitors who have their Caribbean dream-vacation booked, etc.etc. Reliable, not-sensationalized information is just so hard to get in crisis situations. Help keep the rest of the world up-to-date with what is really happening! We really need you, Georges back in 1998, and many others since then are proof! If interested, contact gert@gobeach.com.


WHAT TO FIND ON StormCARIB.com:
This website is all about the Caribbean. Here you can find information, weather discussions and local reports regarding tropical systems threatening the Caribbean islands. A central part of this website is the volunteer network of special local hurricane correspondents, living on the islands, who will report, when need be, on how it looks and feels like around them. Above also hopefully easy to understand weather discussions by me and Dave. In addition, as an aid in locating family or friends on the islands in an emergency situation you can post your 'plea for help' on the bulletin board. Also featured on this website is the Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator, for easy locating to the least overloaded webserver for National Hurricane Center advisories and the latest satellite images. Another part of the Caribbean Hurricane Network is the 'practical guide' to hurricane tracking with unit conversions, definitions, tips, links, etc. You can also find out how close the storm is and how many hours you have left to prepare plus you can map the closest point of approach of a hurricane to your location. New is the climatology of Caribbean hurricanes section. Find out when the real peak of hurricane season is for individual islands, view hurricane tracks passing by the islands over the last 150+ years. An archive with detailed reports of how the Caribbean islands fared during the 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 (incl. Frances and Ivan), 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999 (incl. Floyd and Lenny), 1998 (incl. Georges and Mitch), 1997 and 1996 seasons are still available as well. Plus there is more, like storm-centered satellite images, make your own local satellite loop, etc. Hope you find the information on this website (now counting over thousands pages with original content) helpful. Comments always welcome! RSS web feed available. As a side note I am now accepting donations as well. Thanks for visiting!

Maintained & moderated by: Gert van Dijken (gert@gobeach.com).
Weather discussions also by Dave McDermott, St.Thomas, USVI.


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Disclaimer
The information on these pages is derived from weather statements provided by the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, and others, and from hurricane correspondents in the Caribbean. I tried to translate the official weather statements in more layman's terms. Also, I tried to fill the gap in reporting on what is happening in the Caribbean, instead of the US (there are already many other good website which focus on the US). Keep in mind that my statements are my own interpretations from the information available to me. Therefore, use the information at your own risk, and above all, don't use these webpages for making life-or-death decisions, always rely on the official and qualified authorities! Accuracy of eye-witness reports by the special hurricane correspondents have not been checked. They may be highly subjective. The author can not be held responsible for lost property, ruined vacations and the like. Despite all this I hope you found the webpage informative and useful. These pages do not have a commercial intent. GoBeach Vacations provided the means and opportunity to start all this. 'Unfortunately' this website has become too popular, placing too much load on the gobeach.com webservers. Luckily, starting in 2000, my excellent webhost provider, pairNetworks, liked my website so much that they support services whenever they can. Comments are always welcome. Just send a note to gert@gobeach.com. Gert