Hurricane Maria regains Category 5 status
© NOAA

Hurricane Maria has regained its status as a Category 5 storm, the National Hurricane Center announced early Tuesday.

After being upgraded to a Category 5 Monday evening, the storm was briefly downgraded to a Category 4 before regaining its strength. 

Maria is “a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane” with maximum sustained winds of 160 miles per hour, the advisory said.

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The advisory also noted that while fluctuations are possible, the storm is “forecast to remain an extremely dangerous category 4 or 5” storm as it while it nears Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Both have hurricane warnings in effect, and the eye of the storm is projected to reach the islands Tuesday night and Wednesday.

The storm comes after Hurricane Irma battered islands in the Caribbean earlier this month.