Maria makes landfall on Puerto Rico as a high-end Category 4 Hurricane

The powerful Hurricane Maria has made landfall on Puerto Rico. The powerful hurricane packs 150 mph (240 km/h) sustained winds, a high end Category 4 hurricane.

Early reports indicate the entire island is engulfed in hurricane-force winds, with peak winds of 150 mph (240 km/h). The eyewall of Hurricane Maria made landfall over Yabucoa in the southeastern part of the island.

First visible light image of the day of Hurricane Maria engulfing Puerto Rico. Image: NOAA RAMMB / CIRA.

Aircraft recon obs of Hurricane Maria’s winds at flight level at 11:28 UTC today as the hurricane made landfall. Image: Tropical Tidbits.

The island was likely spared Category 5 damage by a fortunate timing of the eyewall replacement cycle – the extremely tight pinhole inner eyewall eroded just before landfall, with the outer eyewall failing to consolidate as the hurricane eye passed over land. Nevertheless, Maria remains a violent hurricane capable of widesperad devastation.

Keep updated with the latest data on Hurricane Maria.