Tropical Storm Maria has formed in Atlantic, taking aim at battered islands

Tropical Storm Maria has formed in Atlantic, taking aim at battered islands

The NHC thinks that Maria may be an extremely unsafe major hurricane (Cat 3+) as it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Maria was expected to become a hurricane on Sunday and Tropical Storm Lee continued moving slowly west. Maximum sustained winds have increased to are near 40 miles per hour (65 km/h) with higher gusts.

HurricaneJosehas sped up its northward trek with no change in strength but remains far from land as it generates powerful swells affecting coastal areas in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the US southeast.

The Category 1 storm is expected to move north through Tuesday morning, where it will sit off the mid-Atlantic coast and continue to churn local surf and heighten the risk of unsafe rip currents.

Tropical storm watches are posted for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Yesterday's Tropical depression #14 has become Tropical Storm Lee and the Tropical Wave that I mentioned on WJCL at 11pm last night, "had to be watched", has become Tropical Depression #15.

That's because Lee could experience significant shearing forces in the next 48 hours and weakening by Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose, located about 420 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC, and 435 miles west-southwest of Bermuda, is moving northward with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.

But that doesn't mean that the hurricane, now swirling about 600 miles southwest of North Carolina's Outer Banks with sustained winds of 80 mph and moving northwest at 9 mph, won't be felt by people living near the coasts.

The National Hurricane Center is tracking three named tropical cyclones over the Atlantic Basin. Currently, the hurricane "Jose" is located near the East coast of the United States and moves North. But Jose turned to the north and spun a loop in the Atlantic, weakening to tropical storm status before picking up strength again and heading toward the East Coast. It is still about 1,100 miles east of the Windward Islands along the Caribbean - but forecasters say it has a 90 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression over the next five days.

For the European weather model, a recurvature out to sea or a landfall in New England or Canada were the preferred solutions.