Into Open Waters – Maria and Lee update 5:00 AM 9/23

Hurricane Maria is currently located at 24.8N 72.0W, about 165 miles ENE of San Salvador and 340 miles E of Nassau. She’s still a major hurricane, at a Cat 3, with max sustained winds of 120 MPH, and slowly weakening. She’s moving NNW at 9 MPH. The tropical storm warning for the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos has been discontinued, and no coastal watches or warnings are in effect at present. She should continue to move NNW today and turn N tonight. She should hold steady for the next 48 hours. Interestingly enough, the central pressure as fallen and the eye has become more defined, though her winds have decreased a little. For the next 48 hours, we should see some fluctuations, and holding steady around a Cat 3. Once she hits the waters cooled by Jose, we will see her begin to really weaken. The East Coast of the US should monitor this storm, as she may move close enough to effect more than the surf in the next week. While her cone doesn’t have her coming terribly close, should still be a hurricane and could potentially have some impact.

Tropical Storm Lee seems to just be meandering alone out in the Atlantic. He’s currently at 31.9N 49.2W, 910 miles E of Bermuda and moving N at 6 MPH. He’s very small, with TS force winds extending out 35 miles from the center of the storm. The forecast is all over the board for this storm. He is small and compact, and could strengthen quickly to a major hurricane, or could dissipate again over the next few days. At this point, its hard to tell. The track is just as complex, as one model has him moving S for a day or three and then NW, and another reliable model has him turning E. At this point, we will just have to wait and see.

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