Maria is expected to become a major hurricane, the Barbados Meteorological Service has warned
In its 11 p.m. bulletin, the center of Hurricane Maria was located near 14.2 degrees north or 58.4 degrees west or about 100 miles north-east of Barbados.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 miles per hour with higher gusts.
Further strengthening is forecast over the next 48 hours.
The system is moving west-northwestward near 13 miles per hour.
On this present track, the center is expected to pass approximately 100 miles to the north of Barbados early tomorrow.
Feeder bands have been generating periods of rain, pockets of moderate to heavy showers and thunderstorms, across the island.
The island remains under a tropical storm watch and a flood warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. tomorrow.
Maria is expected to generate rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches and the Met office has urged residents to be on the alert and take all necessary precautions.
Residents can also expect sustained wind-speeds of 29 to 35 miles per hour with gusts to storm force from tonight. These conditions are expected to persist into tomorrow.
In addition, large easterly swells of at least 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20 ft.) are also forecast to accompany the system. As a result, a high-surf advisory and small-craft warning remain in effect until 12:00 noon Tuesday, September 19.
The next bulletin will be issued at 2:30 a.m.
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