Hurricane Maria Continues its Northward Track

09:30 UTC  Monday, September 25

Michael Kozar, senior modeler – Model Development, RMS

The latest track probability analysis of the current model forecasts for Hurricane Maria has been released by the RMS HWind team, based on forecast models initialized at 12:00 UTC Sunday, September 24. This proprietary track forecast probability product from RMS HWind provides unique insight into the likelihood of where a storm might go, to help deliver insights beyond what is available from public sources.

Figure 1: Hurricane Maria forecast storm track probabilities and deterministic scenarios, initialized Sunday, September 24 at 12:00 UTC

Hurricane Maria continues to track northward, and although the maximum sustained winds in its inner core have fallen in the past two days, the storm’s wind field remains quite large. More specifically, aircraft reconnaissance data suggests peak winds are down to around 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour), but the wind field as a whole contains 108 Terajoules (TJs) of integrated kinetic energy with tropical storm force winds extending out more than 200 miles from center.

The forecast models continue to be in good agreement, indicating that Maria will head generally northward for the next 48 to 72 hours before a trough moves in and sends Maria out to the east. There is some disagreement in terms of how far north and west Maria could get before turning out to sea, but the most probable outcome continues to be one in which the center of the storm remains offshore. About one-quarter of the included models still bring Maria within 50 nautical miles of Cape Hatteras, and because of Maria’s large size, tropical storm conditions could reach the Carolina coastline even if the storm remains further from land.

Michael is a senior modeler on the RMS HWind team based at the Tallahassee, FL office. Michael has a bachelor's and a master's degree in Meteorology from Penn State University and a PhD in Meteorology from Florida State University. He has experience forecasting and analyzing tropical cyclone wind fields and has also studied interannual hurricane variability in the North Atlantic.

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