Maria finally has the more familiar shape of a tropical storm and there is even a good outflow pattern developing in the upper levels.
Morning recon suggests that even though the strongest winds are in the northeastern quadrant, the center is better defined. This is confirmed by surface observations across the Leeward Islands.
Water vapor images still show the upper level low to Maria's Northwest. This is causing the shear that has kept it in check, but today Maria is fighting back. Even though there is plenty of dry air ahead of it, and models insist on the upper low hanging around a few more days...Maria is getting stronger.
So where is Maria headed? NHC says it best:
- MARIA IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST . THE CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO BE TRAPPED BETWEEN THE ATLANTIC SUBTROPICAL HIGH AND A TROUGH ALONG THE EASTERN UNITED STATES.
- THIS IS THE SAME STEERING PATTERN THAT IN GENERAL HAS PREVAILED THIS SEASON... (this should take) MARIA WELL NORTH OF THE BAHAMAS...AND THEN RECURVING IT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES EAST COAST AND BERMUDA.