CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - The tropics have opened up once again as yet another strong hurricane develops in the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria has been rapidly strengthening, nearly doubling it's wind speeds over the past 24 hours. Now a Category 5 hurricane with winds at 160 mph as it takes aim for already battered Puerto Rico. App users click here.
Its first landfall is expected in the Leeward Islands late tonight as a category 3 hurricane. Maria is expected to reach category 4 strength and could make a direct hit on Puerto Rico Wednesday morning with winds over 150 mph.
Now the question everyone wants to know, will it make landfall in the US mainland and when?
At this point there are huge differences in the models after the storm moves over Puerto Rico.
The European model keeps the storm off the coast of the Carolinas moving it back out into the Atlantic with little to no effects.
The GFS model brings the storm up the coast of the Carolinas with a higher threat to the US. At this point it's to far out to determine which model will be correct, but if there is any effects on the US it looks to be Tuesday(9/26) or Wednesday(9/27) next week.
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