Hurricane Maria makes landfall overnight, now a Category 5
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
UPDATE (5:12 a.m.):
The 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Maria is a Category 5 storm again with 160 mph winds.
UPDATE (4:30 a.m.):
Hurricane Maria made landfall as a Category 5 storm Monday night with high winds. Maria weakened to a Category 4 early Tuesday morning.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the top sustained winds had fallen to 155 mph early Tuesday morning,and the winds are beginning to diminish over Dominica. Maria is currently moving west-northwest at 9 mph towards other areas of the Caribbean and Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Maria has strengthened into a Category 5 storm with wind gusts sustained at 160 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The storm now has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and is expected to hit Dominica within the next few hours.
The NHC predicts the Leeward Islands will experience a major hurricane by the time the storm arrives Monday evening. Hurricane warnings are up for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Martinique, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands,Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques.
A hurricane watch was issued for Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Anguilla, and Isla Saona to Puerto Plata.
The island of Barbuda, catastrophically damaged by Irma's Category 5 winds, is now under a tropical storm warning.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as west of Puerto Plata to the northern Dominican Republic-Haiti border are also under a tropical storm warning, the NHC said.
Current long-range forecasts indicate a track taking the storm to the east of Florida and the Bahamas, but close monitoring of the storm's behavior is a wise precaution.
Meawhile, Hurricane Jose remains a minimal category 1 storm with top winds of 75 mph. Jose will move off the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Coast of the US causing several inches of rain and 40-60 mph winds for some areas.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for parts of the Long Island and New England Coast.
Tropical Depression Lee will continue to weaken in the far Eastern Atlantic. No threat to anyone.
Visit CBS12 Hurricane Center for interactive tracking maps and the latest storm information.