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You Cannot Be Serious: Hurricane Maria Sniffs Around Irma’s Wake

| September 17, 2017

We’re all saying it: you cannot be serious. But Maria was declared a hurricane this afternoon, making its way along the same path that Irma did. Projections are not as dire, however, with most forecasts seeing it veer north, well to the east of the Florida coast.


It’s now Hurricane Maria. It’s moving slowly toward the Caribbean, following roughly the same path that Hurricane Irma did just two weeks ago, if a little further to the north. It is expected to become a major, Category 3 hurricane as it moves further northwest. But for now, rare is the forecast that sees it even skirting the Florida Peninsula.

The hurricane is currently moving at 15 ,mph in a wes-northwest direction, heading toward a direct hit on the heart of Puerto Rico, then skirting the east end of the Dominican Republic. Puerto Rico largely escaped damage from Irma. It does not appear to be as fortunate with Maria, which may even slow as it crosses over the eastern Caribbean.

“Maria has strengthened to a hurricane and could be near major hurricane intensity when it affects portions of the Leeward Islands over the next few days, bringing dangerous wind, storm surge and rainfall hazards,” the National Hurricane Center said at 5 p.m. “Maria is likely to affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid week as a dangerous major hurricane. Hurricane watches have been issued for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and could be extended to Puerto Rico tonight or early Monday.”

And Florida? Again, it’s a tale of two models. The Global Forecast System model largely followed by the National Hurricane Center has the storm staying well to the east, and shifting north after grazing the Dominican Republican:

hurricane maria track

(CFAN via Weather Underground)

The European model–from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, or ECMRWF, has the storm tracking further west, which would not be good news for Florida: the European model has consistently been more accurate than the GFS models. The European model still largely has Maria staying offshore, but not by much, recreating yet again a potential Hurricane Matthew scenario:

European model ensemble forecast.

(CFAN via Weather Underground)

The other worry for Flagler, even absent landfall, is storm surge and erosion against a significantly weakened shore, and areas vulnerable to coastal flooding. So even as the county is only now nearing its final power re-connections after a difficult week and working toward opening a Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) location at the county library to address flooding and wind damages sustained by residents, officials will again be having to monitor what could, at any wobble, throw the state and the region into crisis mode again.

The chance of that is remote. But it is far from insignificant. Maria, like Irma and Harvey before it, is a dead-serious storm.

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17 Responses for “You Cannot Be Serious: Hurricane Maria Sniffs Around Irma’s Wake”

  1. says:

    Auntie Em: Help us out today and find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble!

    Dorothy: A place where there isn’t any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…

  2. Flagler Is My Home says:

    At this rate I think I’ll just leave the plywood on my windows until the end of hurricane season. Good Lord….

  3. Marlee says:

    and…”they” call this paradise?????!

  4. Mark says:

    It’s Bush’s fault!

  5. r&r says:

    No it’s Obama’s fault.

  6. Rick Kang says:

    Time to prepare to LEAVE your home in the flood zones!

  7. tulip says:

    It’s a wait and see game again. However, I am not going to totally restock my refrigerator, I will keep the basics we need, in case I have to throw it out again.

  8. bob says:

    I like lobster with butter

  9. CJ says:

    House in Flagler Beach is in a flood zone… got wrecked in Irma, planning to sell it after we fix it up.

  10. Just the truth says:

    Its Trumps fault.

  11. JasonB says:

    No, I think it’s god’s fault. Just kidding, there is no god.

  12. heh says:

    @Mark and r&r, yeah, we get it already. You’re still upset over our current and past presidents to this day, but politics have nothing to do with mother nature. Nice fact-less assumption though.

  13. I be Erudite says:

    Maybe they are just trying to give Florida a sense of reassurance but when Irma was that far out they did not give models past 5 days citing the unreliability of looking out that far. Irma was later predicted to go up Florida’s east coast or perhaps stay somewhat out to sea. We all saw what happened. Please, everyone take this storm seriously and be prepared. The more prepared you are the fewer regrets you’ll have if that storm tracks this way.

  14. Wishful Thinking says:

    Wow… Oh Maria please stay away – we won’t be able to get out of our homes if you pound us also….!!

    To everyone who lives in a ‘Gated access community’ – don’t expect Flagler County to give a rat’s ass about your health, welfare or safety – they will keep your tax money but won’t pick up your hurricane debris which is sitting on ‘utility easements and roads’ what you pay your HOA to maintain on top of your taxes.

    Flagler’s latest e-mail sent Friday at 6PM ( they send 14 a day) tells us that Thursday the county will start picking up Irma debris but NOT IN PRIVATE communities. Don’t know about you but I’m contacting every breathing elected official to remind them that the CASH COW communities are not excluded from their obligations .

  15. Khristy says:’s always going to be Obama bin lauden

  16. snapperhead says:

    Surely you can’t be serious.

    I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.

  17. mark101 says:

    Oh where are the Republican haters so they can blame the Republicans for these storms. .

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