Hurricane Maria: storm strengthens as it heads towards battered Caribbean

Hurricane Maria: storm strengthens as it heads towards battered Caribbean”

It was moving west northwest at about 15 miles per hour.

They had been expected to leave yesterday to help fix the damage left behind by Hurricane Irma, but have postponed the trip until midweek while the Caribbean awaits the arrival of Tropical Storm Maria.

Maria grew into a hurricane on Sunday, and forecasters said it was expected to become much stronger while following a path that would take it near numerous islands wrecked by Hurricane Irma and on to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Hurricane Maria could become a major hurricane in the next couple of days with a widespread impact on the Greater and Lesser Antilles this week, and a possible impact on the USA mainland next week.

"Despite remaining well offshore, [Jose] will still produce a combination of coastal flooding, high surf, tropical storm-force winds and heavy rain along parts of the East Coast in what may end up being a glorified nor'easter, without the snow", The Weather Channel reports.

Potentially unsafe swells associated with Jose are already affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas and much of the east coast of the U.S.

Julian Heming, who works on predicting tropical cyclones for the Met Office, said that Hurricane Maria could make its first landfall within 12 to 18 hours.

The National Hurricane center is eyeing three storms in the Atlantic - Hurricane Jose, Tropical Storm Maria, and Tropical Storm Lee. The storm has become a Tropical Depression and will fall apart even more so over the next few days. Little change in strength is expected in the next 48 hours, though an Air Force hurricane hunter plane is now flying out to Jose to investigate.

Scores of Caribbean islands such as St Martin and Barbuda are already reeling from the effects of the Category Five hurricane Irma. Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from DE to MA.

RAIN: Jose is expected to generate 3 to 5 inches of rain over southeast MA including Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or risky. Maria packed top winds of 75 miles per hour as of early Sunday evening.

There are no hurricane watches or warnings in effect.

TROPICAL DEPRESSION LEE: It is off the coast of Africa has winds of 35 miles per hour.

The NHC said that Tropical Storm Lee had sustained winds of 40 mph and was about 720 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands, moving west at 10 mph.

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