Tropical Storm Maria formed Saturday in the western Atlantic Ocean and is expected to be a hurricane by late Monday and a major hurricane by Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center says.
That means areas devastated by Irma could again be dealing with hurricane conditions by Tuesday or Wednesday.
Hurricane watches have been issued for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and Anguilla. Tropical storm watches are posted for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Maria could also affect the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid week as a dangerous major hurricane, and hurricane watches could be issued for these islands as early as Sunday. Interests in these areas should monitor the progress of Maria and follow any advice given by local officials,” the NHC said.
The center warned that rapid intensification was a distinct possibility and “it would be no surprise if Maria got significantly stronger than currently forecast.”
Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose, a Category 1 storm, is spinning about 465 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and 465 miles west-southwest of Bermuda.
Areas of the east coast of the United States from North Carolina to New England should monitor the storm’s progress, it said, with tropical storm watches possible during the next day or two.
“While Jose is currently forecast to remain offshore of the US coast from Virginia northward to New England, the large cyclone could cause some direct impacts to these areas and any deviation to the left of the NHC forecast track would increase the likelihood and magnitude of those impacts,” the hurricane center said.
Swells generated by Jose were affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, the northern coasts of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, and much of the US east eoast, it said, with dangerous surf and rip currents likely for the next several days.
Tropical Storm Lee
There’s also Tropical Storm Lee, which formed earlier Saturday in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
Lee is weakening and is expected to disappear completely within five days, the center said, with no land warnings issued.