Tropical Storm Maria now on the Caribbean's horizon; Lee expected to grow


Tropical Depression Lee strengthened into a tropical storm on Saturday.

A fall trough moving across the USA, he said, could also strengthen a ridge in the northeast, preventing the storm from moving out to sea.

In its 11 a.m. Saturday advisory, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the center of Jose was about 480 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and 500 miles west-southwest of Bermuda.

The storm's sustained winds were clocked at 80 miles per hour and the storm was moving northwest at 9 miles per hour.

"Interests from North Carolina northward to New England on the east coast of the United States should monitor the progress of this system", officials at the National Weather Service wrote. The cone includes the New Jersey coastline, Long Island, most of CT and MA and all of Rhode Island. The rest kept the storm out to sea.

Still, the proximity to land will likely bring strong gusting winds and rain to the Northeast, including New York City, by the middle of next week.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula due to Norma, which weakened into a tropical storm on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 kph), according to the US National Hurricane Center.

The official forecast track from the hurricane center puts Jose as a strong tropical storm Wednesday 225 miles southeast of NY. A slower west-northwest motion is expected during the next couple of days.

"However, an increase in the size of the storm or a westward adjustment in the track forecast could bring tropical storm conditions closer to the Outer Banks off North Carolina", the center said.

Hurricane Jose has been circling in the Atlantic for several days.

But the window for intensification looks to last the weekend only.

By midweek, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico could again face fierce winds with Maria expected to become another major hurricane. As the Capital Weather Gang's Greg Porter explains, Tropical Storm Maria seems to be intensifying, and may follow a track similar to Irma, fed by the same weather conditions that made Irma so powerful.