Hurricane Maria triggers new Caribbean alert

Tropical weather track Reload page every few hours for the latest tracking information. Source National Hurricane Center

Barely a week after Hurricane Irma tore through, several islands in the Caribbean are bracing for a direct hit from another major hurricane - Maria. The hurricane caused unprecedented destruction in the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Barbuda, St Martin, St Barts, Puetro Rico, St Kitts & Nevis, and Haiti.

The center said "interests" from North Carolina to New England should monitor the storm's progress and advised that tropical storm watches may be issued in the next day or two for portions of that area along the East Coast.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Dominica.

It also forecast a maximum potential rainfall of 20 inches (51 centimeters) in the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States and British Virgin Islands through Wednesday night - conditions that could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Jose weakened a bit on Monday morning off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, but remained a Category 1 with maximum sustained wind speeds of 75 miles per hour.

Caribbean islands that were badly hit by Hurricane Irma are in the path of a new hurricane strengthening in the west Atlantic.

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Maria has rapidly intensified to a 130 miles per hour, Category 4 hurricane as of the 2pm Monday, Sept. 18, advisory from the National Hurricane Center. Larger swells and rip currents are likely all along the east coast.

It's still Tropical Storm Maria for now, but that's likely to change later today, as the storm moves closer to the Leeward Islands.

The strong wind shear now affecting Jose is expected to continue for another day or so. The eye of the storm was about 100 miles northeast of Barbados and heading west-northwest at 12mph.

Tropical Depression Lee is expected to become a low-pressure system by Monday night.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 kph) Sunday morning and it's expected to become a hurricane during the day.

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