Maria now Cat. 5 storm; summer ends Friday - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Maria now Cat. 5 storm; summer ends Friday

Source: NOAA Source: NOAA
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB Source: WAFB
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

We are headed into the final days of the official summer season, and it's certainly going to feel "officially" like summer, which ends Friday afternoon.

The WAFB First Alert Forecast through the next four days calls for highs at 90° or above for metro Baton Rouge with morning starts in the low 70°s. In addition, rain chances are at 30 percent to 40 percent for the next four days as well. In addition to those somewhat muggy morning starts, be ready for pockets of fog for the morning commute. In fact, we could see Dense Fog Advisories in effect for one or more of the next four mornings.

With highs running between 90° and the lower 90°s this week, afternoon temperatures will be above normal every afternoon, but keep in mind the normal high for this time of year is in the upper 80°s, so we're not talking about unusually hot afternoons for this time of year.

As for rainfall, most can expect an inch of rain or less over the next five to seven days. However, just like we saw over the weekend, a few locations under heavy downpours could experience some local "ponding" and even some short-duration street flooding this week.

Category 1 Jose and Category 5 Maria are keeping things active in the tropics. Tropical Depression Lee is also spinning in the open Atlantic waters, but all indications are that Lee will lose its tropical signature within the next day or so.

Jose is still threatening to sideswipe the East Coast, prompting tropical storm watches and warnings from the Jersey Shore into New England, but for the time being, it looks like Jose will avoid a landfall in the US or Canada. The remaining question for Jose: Could it undergo a second loop and remain off the US Eastern Seaboard for another five to seven days or more?

Maria, on the other hand, is threatening to deliver a second devastating blow to parts of the Caribbean this season. Maria is expected to remain a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) through the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) 5-day forecast period while tracking to the northwest. The Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico all appear to be in the 72-hour cross hairs of this tropical beast.

At 7 p.m., the NHC issued the following advisory for Maria:

At 800 PM AST (0000 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Maria was located near latitude 15.3 North, longitude 61.1 West. Maria is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday. On the forecast track, the core of Maria will move near Dominica and the adjacent Leeward Islands during the next few hours, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea the remainder of tonight and Tuesday, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Tuesday night and Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 160 mph (260 km/h) with higher gusts. Maria is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Some additional strengthening is possible tonight, but some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km). The estimated minimum central pressure based on Air Force Hurricane Hunter data is 925 mb (27.32 inches).

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