Tropical Storm Maria expected to strengthen into hurricane

Tropical Storm Maria expected to strengthen into hurricane

The storm will bring unsafe wind, storm surge and hazardous rainfall.

National news reports stated Sunday that a Hurricane Warning has been been issued by the government of Antigua and Barbuda for St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat. The National Hurricane Center said that the warnings will likely continue to extend north and west.

On the forecast track, the center of Maria will move across the Leeward Islands late today and tonight, over the extreme northeastern Caribbean Sea Tuesday and Tuesday night, and approach Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Wednesday.

Maria has reached winds of 130 miles per hour, and KETV 7 reports that the storm will continue moving toward the Eastern Caribbean at 10 miles per hour.

Maria was "rapidly" intensifying into a major hurricane, according to the NHC.

It is too early to tell if the storm will reach Florida or any other part of the USA mainland.

According to the Monday morning forecast by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Officem, maximum sustained winds have increased to 120 km/h with higher gusts. More strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane Jose has weakened a little and now has 85 miles per hour winds.

Residents on islands in the eastern Caribbean are bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Maria less than two weeks after being lashed by Hurricane Irma, which claimed at least 84 lives.

The Leeward Islands are all under alert, with storm surges and hurricanes expected.

Soldiers from the 602nd area support medical company wait on a beach for a Navy landing craft as their unit evacuates in advance of Hurricane Maria in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands on Sunday.

As of Monday at 2 a.m. ET, Maria was about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north-northeast of Barbados and about 170 miles (270 kilometers) east-southeast of Dominica, the center said.

It noted that at 11 a.m. the system is centred over the tropical Atlantic Ocean about 755 miles (1220 km) east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles, moving toward the west near 22 mph (35 km/h).

A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 36 hours within the warning area.

There have already been seven hurricanes, including Maria, in the 2017 season by September; in 2016, there were only seven hurricanes in the total season, which the last one dissipating in late November.

Henson said Jose will then transform into a hybrid storm, becoming much larger as its strongest winds drift away from its center.