Washington, Sep 17 (IANS) Three storms are raging through the Atlantic, with one already a hurricane and another forecast to strengthen and threaten areas battered by Hurricane Irma last week, the media reported.
Tropical Storm Maria formed on Saturday in the western Atlantic Ocean and is expected to be a hurricane by late Monday and a major hurricane by Wednesday, CNN quoted the US-based National Hurricane Centre as saying.
As of early Sunday morning, Maria was about 500 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles, packing maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
The storm is moving toward the Caribbean at 16 mph.
The core of Maria was expected to hit the Leeward Islands in 48 to 72 hours, and then move toward Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Jose, a Category 1 storm, is spinning about 465 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and 465 miles west-southwest of Bermuda.
Jose currently has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and is expected to remain a hurricane through Monday night, the centre said.
Tropical Storm Lee formed on Saturday in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, CNN reported.
Lee is spinning about 760 miles west-southwest of Cape Verde off northwest Africa and packing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, according to centre.
The catastrophic hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25 resulting in massive floods and deaths of 83 people.
Irma, the most intense storm in the Atlantic, hit the Caribbean islands on August 30, leaving a trail of destruction through Puerto Rico, Cuba and Florida. It killed 82 people.