UPDATE: Maria strengthens into Category 5 hurricane - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Maria strengthens into Category 5 hurricane

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UPDATE:  Hurricane Maria made landfall with 160 mph winds in Dominica Monday evening around 8:15 PM CDT.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Monday evening that Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter planes found that Maria had strengthened into a storm with 160 mph (260 kph) winds.

The hurricane is moving west-northwest at 9 mph (15 kph).  It is tracking northwest toward Puerto Rico by Wednesday.

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Tropical Storm Maria is now a hurricane and is forecast to strengthen and brush by some islands that were recently wrecked by Hurricane Irma.

The National Hurricane Center said Sunday that the storm has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph).

It is located about 140 miles east northeast of Barbados and heading west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph).

A slower west-northwest motion is expected over the next couple of days.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat.

Maria is expected to strengthen and be near major hurricane intensity when it moves across the Leeward Islands late Monday.

The storm could also affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid-week as a dangerous major hurricane.

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