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Tropical Storm Maria has formed in the Atlantic

INCOMING: Tropical Storm Maria formed Saturday afternoon. Photo: National Hurricane Centre

TROPICAL STORM Maria formed Saturday (Sep 16) in the western Atlantic Ocean, prompting a hurricane watch for areas affected by Hurricane Irma last week, CNN reports.

Maria is about 590 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles and is packing maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The storm is moving toward the Caribbean at 19 mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

Maria is expected to gain strength through the weekend and become a hurricane by late Monday, forecasters said. Tropical storm watches are posted for Barbados, St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The hurricane watch covers Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Guadeloupe.

According to CNN, this means areas devastated by Irma could again be dealing with hurricane conditions by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Maria is joined by Tropical Storm Lee, which formed Saturday (Sep 16) in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

Lee is spinning about 720 miles west-southwest of Cape Verde off northwest Africa and packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

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