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  • The Chanticleer

Maria strengthens to category 5 hurricane

Meteorologists are watching three tropical systems in the Atlantic right.

Hurricane Maria: Tropical Storm Maria formed in the western Atlantic Ocean Saturday, prompting a hurricane watches for areas that were just devastated by Hurricane Irma last week.

Maria strengthen to hurricane status Sunday evening making it the 7th named hurricane for the 2017 season.

The now category 5 hurricane is expected "to pass over Dominica within the next hour or two" (8 p.m. EST), according to the National Hurricane Center.

Maria has 160 mph winds--with even higher gusts. "Maria is likely to affect Puerto Rico as an extremely dangerous major hurricane, and a hurricane warning has been issued for that island," said NHC.

This would be the first time that two major hurricanes have passed so close to the island chain in a season, according to The Washington Post.

Meteorologists in Myrtle Beach are watching Tropical Storm Maria closely.

Hurricane Jose: Hurricane Jose, which followed behind Hurricane Irma last week, is expected to turn north and head up the east coast. There are a few New England regions in the cone of uncertainty, but meteorologists believe it will just become a “fish storm,” or a system that does not make landfall.

Forecasts indicated Myrtle Beach will have a high rip current risk until the beginning of next week as Jose passes off the coast. There may be a few rain bands that enters the area, but nothing long-lasting.

Tropical Depression Lee: The storm formed Saturday, Sept. 17 in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, about 720 miles west-southeast of Cape Verde off northwest Africa, but weakened to a tropical depression early Sunday.

Lee is expected to continue weakening before dissipating in the next three days.

Hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

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