Source: National Hurricane Centre

As Hurricane Maria barrels towards Puerto Rico, the storm has been upgraded to Category Four this morning.

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami has said that the centre of the hurricane will move across the Leeward Islands late this afternoon (Monday) and continue through the northeastern Caribbean Sea tomorrow.

The NHC has also said the hurricane’s strength is rapidly increasing and will continue this way for the next 48 hours.

By late Tuesday, it is predicted that the hurricane will have maximum wind speeds of 150mph, upgrading it to a Category 4 hurricane.

“This storm promises to be catastrophic for our island,” said Ernesto Morales from the National Weather Service in San Juan.

“All of Puerto Rico will experience hurricane-force winds.”

The current Caribbean nations with hurricane warnings are Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat, Martinique, St. Lucia, U.S. Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands.

The NHC has said that hurricane conditions will likely spread through the hurricane warning areas Monday evening through until Tuesday night.

The storm surge that is coming with Hurricane Maria’s impact will raise water levels, causing flooding in coastal areas on the regions in the warning zone.