Earl becomes a major hurricane

The following is the 11am advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida today.

SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST…1500 UTC…INFORMATION

LOCATION…18.7N 63.6W
ABOUT 95 MI…150 KM ENE OF ST. THOMAS
ABOUT 165 MI…265 KM E OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…120 MPH…195 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT…WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 15 MPH…24 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…960 MB…28.35 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

A HURRICANE WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE PUERTO RICAN ISLANDS OF CULEBRA AND VIEQUES.

THE GOVERNMENT OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA HAS CHANGED THE HURRICANE WARNING FOR ANTIGUA…BARBUDA…MONTSERRAT…ST. KITTS…AND NEVIS TO A TROPICAL STORM WARNING.

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* ANGUILLA
* SAINT MARTIN AND SAINT BARTHELEMY
* ST. MAARTEN…SABA…AND ST. EUSTATIUS
* BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
* U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
* PUERTO RICAN ISLANDS OF CULEBRA AND VIEQUES

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* PUERTO RICO

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* ANTIGUA…BARBUDA…MONTSERRAT…ST. KITTS…AND NEVIS
* PUERTO RICO

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…

* TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA…IN THIS CASE WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD HAVE ALREADY BEEN COMPLETED.

HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA…IN THIS CASE WITHIN THE NEXT 12 HOURS OR SO.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA…GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO PUERTO RICO AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS…INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY THE SAN JUAN NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE. FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES…PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

AT 1100 AM AST…1500 UTC…THE CENTER OF HURRICANE EARL WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 18.7 NORTH…LONGITUDE 63.6 WEST. EARL IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 15 MPH…24 KM/HR. THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TODAY AND TONIGHT…FOLLOWED BY A TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST ON TUESDAY. ON THE FORECAST TRACK…THE CENTER OF EARL WILL PASS NEAR OR OVER THE NORTHERNMOST VIRGIN ISLANDS THIS AFTERNOON AND THIS EVENING.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 120 MPH…195 KM/HR…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. EARL IS A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60 MILES…95 KM…FROM THE CENTER…AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 185 MILES…295 KM. ST. MAARTEN REPORTED A WIND GUST TO 68 MPH…109 KM/HR WITHIN THE PAST FEW HOURS.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 960 MB…28.35 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND…HURRICANE CONDITIONS WILL BE SPREADING ACROSS THE NORTHERN VIRGIN ISLANDS DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS WILL SPREAD OVER PORTIONS OF PUERTO RICO THIS AFTERNOON…WITH HURRICANE CONDITIONS POSSIBLE THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT. STRONGER WINDS…ESPECIALLY IN GUSTS…ARE LIKELY OVER ELEVATED TERRAIN IN PUERTO RICO.

STORM SURGE…STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH AS 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL PRIMARILY NEAR THE COAST IN AREAS OF ONSHORE WIND WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING AREA…AND 1 TO 3 FEET IN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA. THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS BATTERING WAVES.

RAINFALL…EARL IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES OVER THE LEEWARD ISLANDS…THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO…WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES… ESPECIALLY OVER HIGHER ELEVATIONS. THESE RAINS COULD CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUDSLIDES.

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