11 p.m. update: Hurricane Maria is moving over Dominica as it holds its status as a Category 5 hurricane.
Maria has sustained top winds of 160 mph, and is moving west northwest at 9 mph.
The eye is expected to move over the northeastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday and approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Tuesday night and Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is forecast remain a major hurricane into the weekend.
8 p.m. update: Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft data indicate Hurricane Maria has intensified into an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 hurricane with top winds of 160 mph.
Some gusts are even higher. The storm has moved within about 15 miles southeast of Dominica.
It is still traveling about 9 mph northwest.
“The potential for a life-threatening storm surge, accompanied by large and destructive waves, has increased for the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico,” an 8 p.m. advisory from the National Weather Service said.
5 p.m. update: Hurricane Maria has become a Category 4 storm with top winds of 130 mph, threatening islands already pounded by Hurricane Irma and leaving exhausted Floridians hoping projections hold up that it will turn north into the Atlantic Ocean.