Caribbean Countries Under Hurricane Alert as Maria Threatens

Swells from Jose are affecting Bermuda, the Bahamas, the northern coasts of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico and the southeast coast of the USA, the center said.

Meanwhile, a new tropical depression has formed far out over the Atlantic and is expected to become a tropical storm.

Forecasters are watching Hurricane Jose, Tropical Storm Lee, and now Tropical Storm Maria as they churn their way through Atlantic waters.

The storm was centered about 485 miles (785 kilometers) southwest of Bermuda on Friday, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph).

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At one point, Lee was named the 11th storm of the Atlantic hurricane season on Saturday.

Jose re-strengthened from a tropical storm to a Category 1 hurricane this afternoon and could potentially bring Nor'easter-like conditions to NY and Boston next week. Rough surf and strong rip currents will continue to be a concern along the East coast this weekend, but the strongest of winds will stay well off shore.

Maria is expected to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane and slam the Leeward Islands and northern Windward Islands with damaging winds, flooding rainfall and storm surge late Monday through Tuesday.

"Hurricane watches have been issued for Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Montserrat". Interests along the northeast USA and New England coasts need to watch to see how close Jose may get to the US before heading out to the northern Atlantic.

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Hurricane Jose continued to meander off the coast on Saturday, spinning about 500 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

Finally, we have Tropical Storm Lee in the east Atlantic.

The storm could also affect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by mid-week as a unsafe major hurricane. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or unsafe. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 kph) and was heading west at 16 miles per hour (26 kph). Lee is forecast to degenerate into a tropical wave early next week.

Hurricane and tropical storm watches have already been issued for parts of the Lesser Antilles, as the storm is expected to strengthen as it heads toward the Leeward Islands for Monday. If it does touch down, it has the potential to cause tropical storm force winds that could reach along the eastern coast from North Carolina on northward.

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  • Jermaine Castillo