Tropical Storm Maria has formed east of the Lesser Antilles and is expected to strengthen over the next several days, posing yet another hurricane threat to the Lesser Antilles.
Tropical Storm Maria is located less than 600 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and is moving west at 15-20 mph.
Atmospheric conditions should be favorable for gradual development and it is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane as early as early Tuesday.
Tropical Storm Maria is expected to move in a more west-northwestward direction over the next few days and may approach the Leeward Islands late Monday.
Hurricane watches have been issued for Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Montserrat.
Tropical storm watches have been posted for portions of the Lesser Antilles including, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Tropical storm conditions are possible here on Monday.
Rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches are possible in the central and southern Leeward Island through Tuesday night, with locally up to 20 inches in some spots.
High surf and dangerous rip currents are also expected by Sunday night in the Lesser Antilles.
Interests in the Caribbean should watch this system closely, especially locations in the northern Leeward Islands that were recently devastated by Hurricane Irma.
The approximate Closest Point of Approach (CPA) is located near 17.0N, 63.7W or about 81.7 miles (131.5 km) from St. Maarten/St. Martin. The estimated time of when the center of the storm will be at that location is Wednesday, September 20 at 1:30AM AST. Info from www.stormcarib.com.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Tropical Storm Maria Expected to Rapidly Intensify On Approach to the Lesser Antilles; Hurricane Watches Issued. (UPDATED)