After Hurricane Irma, Maria headed towards Caribbean Islands

After Hurricane Irma, Maria headed towards Caribbean Islands

Maria is forecast to strengthen rapidly to major hurricane status as it treks through the northern Leeward Islands and before reaching Puerto Rico.

The storm as of 8 a.m. Monday is a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and is located 450 miles south-southeast of Cape May. A tropical storm warning was posted for Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia among other places.

HURRICANE JOSE: Jose's winds have increased now to 90 miles per hour, still remaining a strong category 1 hurricane.

The storm is forecast to rapidly intensify to a Category 4 hurricane as it approaches Puerto Rico late Wednesday morning. The center says risky surf and rip currents are expected along the East Coast of the United States. Jose is forecast to move north between Bermuda and the United States through Wednesday and then curve to the east and could bring some tropical storm conditions to the Cape and the Islands. A hurricane watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds.

200 pilots 'call in sick', forcing airline to scrap flights
The mass "sick-out" comes ahead of a Friday deadline for potential investors to submit bids for Air Berlin assets. An industry source said Air Berlin could lose 4 million to 5 million euros a day because of the cancellations.

A "burst of convection" occurred in Maria's center yesterday afternoon, with an open eyewall forming in the storm's core, National Hurricane Center forecasters said. It was centered about 100 miles (165 kilometers) northeast of Barbados and heading west-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph). That area was hit two weeks ago by Tropical Storm Lidia, which flooded streets and homes and killed at least four people.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Hurricane Jose continues to track north over the next several days. "Tropical storm watches may be needed for portions of this area during the next day or so".

In its 11a.m. update, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour, and is moving west-northwest at 12 miles per hour. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Tuesday, with tropical storm conditions possible Monday night.

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