Hurricane season roared on Saturday as Jose threatened heavy surf along the U.S. East Coast, Tropical Storm Norma edged toward Mexico’s resort-studded Baja California Peninsula, and Tropical Storm Maria formed in the Atlantic and was expected to strengthen into a hurricane, taking aim at some already battered Caribbean islands.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lee formed in the Atlantic far from land.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula because of Norma, which the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported had weakened into a tropical storm on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of 100 kph (65 mph).
Norma was 355 kilometers (220 miles) south of Cabo San Lucas and moving north at 4 kph (2 mph), with forecasters saying it could approach waters southwest of the peninsula late Sunday or early Monday.
The peninsular region that’s home to the twin resort cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo was hit about two weeks ago by Tropical Storm Lidia, which flooded streets and homes and killed at least four people.
The Baja California Sur government readied storm shelters and canceled classes for Monday as well as a planned military parade in the state capital, La Paz, amid Mexican Independence Day celebrations.
In the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose was far from land but generating powerful swells that the center said were affecting coastal areas in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the U.S. Southeast.
East Coast cautioned
The center added that tropical storm watches were possible for the U.S. East Coast later in the day and advised people from North Carolina to New England to monitor Jose’s progress.
The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 130 kph (80 mph). It was located about 775 kilometers (485 miles) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and was heading north at 9 kph (6 mph).
Also Saturday, Tropical Storm Lee formed in the eastern Atlantic with sustained winds of 65 kph (40 mph). The storm was about 1,160 kilometers (720 miles) west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands and posed no immediate threat to land.
To the west, Tropical Storm Maria formed and is expected to strengthen, prompting hurricane watches for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat — some of which were devastated by Hurricane Irma.
The hurricane center said Maria was about 1,000 km (620 miles) east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 kph (50 mph) and was heading west at 31 kph (20 mph). It should approach the Leeward Islands on Tuesday.
The death toll from Irma in the Caribbean was 38.
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