Tropical Storm Maria is now forecasted to continue to intensify into a hurricane and then possibly pose a major threat to the Lesser Antilles, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this week. This of course includes some of the same areas that were recently viciously hit by Hurricane Irma.
Tropical Storm Maria is currently located just about 400 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and is progressing west-northwest at 15 mph.
Atmospheric conditions are favorable for Maria to strengthen, and is expected to escalate to a hurricane soon. Maria could materialize into a dangerous major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) as it passes through the northeast Caribbean Islands by Wednesday due because of low wind shear, a moist atmosphere and warm ocean temperatures.
Although ocean temperatures were lowered thanks to the churning of Hurricane Irma, those temps have already begun to increase and are nearing pre-Irma temperatures, which could theoretically fuel more tropical storms and hurricanes.
It’s too early to know whether Maria will pose a threat to the United States, and specifically Osceola County, but we will be monitoring her growth and movement closely in the days ahead.