Tropical Storm Maria Forms in Central Atlantic

Tropical Storm Maria Forms in Central Atlantic

Ronald Pratt
September 21, 2017

The disturbance is forecast to become a tropical storm later today and could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Leeward Islands.

Hurricane Jose is a category 1 storm with sustained winds near 80 miles per hour. Jose is a weak hurricane with most of the cloud cover associated with it located to the north of the center of the storm. Along with wind and rain, Jose will cause rough surf and risky rip currents from the Carolina coast north into New England this week.

Maria is the 13th named storm of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

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Hurricane Maria is forecast to rapidly strengthen over the next two days as it takes aim at Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma just days ago. It had winds of 40 miles per hour and gusts up to 50 miles per hour. As she sets her sights on Puerto Rico, Maria's winds will increase yet again, and she will likely become a Category 3 on Tuesday. Swells generated by the storm are now affecting much of the US east coast as well as Bermuda, the Bahamas and the northern coasts of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.

Vincent and the Grenadines are under tropical storm watches while Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis and Montserrat are under hurricane watches.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect from Watch Hill, R.I., to Hull, Mass.; Block Island, R.I.; Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; and Nantucket, Mass. The Category 1 hurricane is moving northwest at 9 miles per hour. Tropical Storm Lee is the farthest east and is not a threat to the United States or Caribbean Islands. There also various tropical storm watches. The National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. advisory has Maria nearly 620 miles east-southeast from The Lesser Antilles. A hurricane watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds.