The center of extremely dangerous Category 4 Hurricane Maria is expected to move across Dominica this evening into tonight.
Hurricane Warning remains in effect for Dominica.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
At 5pm, Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 15.1 degrees north and longitude 60.7 degrees west or about 45 miles east southeast of Dominica. Maria is moving west northwest at 9mph. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 130 mph with higher gusts. Maria is now an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
On the forecast track, the center of Maria is expected to move across Dominica during this evening into tonight. Additional rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 24 to 36 hours.
Radar and satellite imagery indicated that moderate to heavy showers, thunderstorms and gusty winds to tropical storm force associated with Maria are affecting Dominica. The forecast is for this activity to continue and intensify at times as the center moves nearer to Dominica along with sustained winds of tropical storm and hurricane force. Rough to dangerous seas are also expected to continue into Tuesday.
Residents are advised to keep safe and resist the urge to go sight-seeing. Reports indicated that a few landslides and rising water levels are already occurring.
Expected rainfall amount for Dominica is between 10 to 12 inches (250 to 300mm) with higher amounts in elevated areas.
Persons in areas prone to flooding, landslides and falling rocks are advised to be extremely vigilant and to exercise extreme caution as life threatening flash flooding is imminent or already occurring.
Sustained winds of tropical storm and hurricane force are occurring or will occur shortly this evening into Tuesday. Be mindful of flying debris and avoid outdoor activities.
Swells generated by Maria are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions and coastal flooding.
A Small-Craft Warning and a High-Surf Advisory are in effect for dangerous seas and high winds.
A small-craft Warning means in this case that surface winds greater than 25knots and seas equal to or greater than 3m (10ft) are already affecting or expected to affect the marine area.
A High-Surf Advisory is issued when breaking wave action poses or is expected to pose a threat to life and property within the surf zone.
Mariners and other users of the sea should remain extremely cautious. DO NOT VENTURE OUT OF PORT. Sea bathers stay out of the water.
The Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.