Fox News Weather Center

Maria to threaten lives, property in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos

Beyond Puerto Rico, Maria will have a direct hit on parts of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos to end the week.

While causing devastation and great risk to lives in Puerto Rico, Maria will track close enough to the Dominican Republic for significant damage Wednesday night and Thursday.

Static Maria Track 3 pm

Gusts topping 75 mph (120 km/h) are likely along the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic and in the Cordillera Central and Sierra de Neiba to the southwest.

Tropical-storm conditions are likely over much of the balance of the Dominican Republic and Haiti with localized torrential rainfall and the risk of flash flooding, mudslides and major river flooding.

How severe impacts are in the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas on Friday and Saturday will depend on how much Maria weakens while over Puerto Rico and then how much restrengthening occurs north of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Interaction with the landmass and mountains of Puerto Rico will result in a short-term fluctuation in the track and reduction in strength of Maria, stated AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

"We expect Maria to begin a more north-northwest track north of Hispaniola on Thursday," Kottlowski said.

Static Maria Impact Severity Fri Sat 3 pm

Maria is likely to regain Category 4 status after dropping in strength in the vicinity of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

Major damage and great risk to lives is likely in the Turks and Caicos from high winds, heavy seas and torrential rain.

Inundation and wind damage could approach that of Irma from about two weeks earlier. Damage to infrastructure, beaches and dwellings from Irma will make these islands very vulnerable.

Static Irma Maria Comparison 8 am

"Wind gusts topping 100 mph (160 km/h) are likely in the Turks and Caicos with averaging 4-8 inches (100-200 mm)," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.

The magnitude of the wind, seas and rain will gradually diminish from east to west over the Bahamas with Maria taking a north-northwest track.

"Due to Maria's growing size, the wind field around the hurricane might extend far enough west to bring much of the Bahamas tropical-storm-force winds Friday night and Saturday, along with a very rough and dangerous surf," Kottlowski said.

Static Maria Impacts Bahamas PL

However, at least some impact related to rough seas and gusty winds is likely in the Bahamas, including the islands of New Providence and Andros.

Any jog to the west in track could bring more severe conditions farther west over the Bahamas.

Beyond the Bahamas, interests from Bermuda to the Atlantic coast of the United States from the Carolinas to Maine and Atlantic Canada should monitor the progress of Maria.

The hurricane is forecast to move north of the Bahamas, but remain offshore of the U.S. on Sunday and Monday.

Maria may remain at sea or be drawn onshore during the middle to latter part of next week.