- Maria was upgraded from tropical storm to Category 1 hurricane on Sunday
- Its path will carry it over the Caribbean in almost exactly the same route as Irma
- It’s expected to hit the Leeward Islands on Monday and keep increasing strength
- Winds from Hurricane Jose could affected everywhere from Virginia to Maine
- Tropical Storm Lee threatens more chaos after forming out in the Atlantic
- US President Donald Trump’s upcoming meetings this week with Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the UN General Assembly
A second hurricane in as many weeks is expected to bring fresh devastation to a string of Caribbean islands already battered by Hurricane Irma.
Maria strengthened to a Category 1 storm on Sunday and is expected to intensify rapidly over the next 48 hours as it follows almost the exact same path as Irma through the region.
Guadalupe, Dominica, Martinique and St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat were issued a hurricane warnings on Monday, while the British Virgin Islands – among the worst affected by Irma – were put on hurricane watch.
Meanwhile Hurricane Jose continues to intensify as it moves toward the US east coast as Tropical Storm Lee threatens more chaos having formed out in the Atlantic.
Storm Maria was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday as it headed for the Leeward Islands, while Hurricane Jose strengthened as it headed for the east coast and Tropical Storm Lee lurked out in the Atlantic
Maria is expected to strengthen rapidly over the next 48 hours as it follows almost the exact same track through the Caribbean as Irma, reaching Category 3 on Wednesday
Guadalupe, Dominica, Martinique and St. Kitts, Nevis and Montserrat have all been issued hurricane warnings, while the British Virgin Islands – among the worst hit by Irma – are under a hurricane alert
More than 1,700 residents of Barbuda, where Irma damaged nearly every building, braced for Maria on neighbouring Antigua, now under a tropical storm watch, said Ronald Sanders, the country’s ambassador to the United States.
Puerto Rico has already begun preparations for Maria, which by Tuesday was expected to unleash powerful winds on the U.S. territory, already dealing with a weakened economy and fragile power grid.
Damage to Puerto Rico could also disrupt the disaster relief supply chain to other islands that were hit by Irma.
‘Puerto Rico is our lifeline,’ said Judson Burdon, a permanent resident of Anguilla who has helped coordinate supply shipments to the island.
‘We had two volunteer flights cancel because of the weather that is coming.’
The planned deliveries consisted of plywood, power tools and screws to close up windows and doors that remain open on the island, where 90 percent of structures were damaged.
The hurricane center also issued a tropical storm watch for portions of the U.S. mid-Atlantic and New England coast by Tuesday as a second hurricane, Jose, moved slowly north from its position in the Atlantic Ocean about 315 miles (510 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
The eye of Jose, with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (145 kph), should remain off the U.S. East Coast, the NHS said.
Hurricane Jose continues to head towards the US; while it’s expected to remain in the sea, tropical-storm winds could still affect everywhere from Virginia from Maine
Maria’s path is likely to draw it over the same areas devastated by Irma less than two weeks ago, including Saint Martin (pictured). Tropical depression Lee remains in the Atlantic
Even so, by Tuesday it could bring tropical storm conditions from Fenwick Island, Delaware, to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and from East Rockaway Inlet on New York’s Long Island to the Massachusetts island of Nantucket.
Up to five inches (13 cm) of rain could fall over parts of the area, and the storm could bring dangerous surf and rip currents as well.
The second in the potentially deadly trifecta is Hurricane Jose, which has left its holding pattern and is now headed northward.
Jose’s eye is expected to remain in the sea, but its winds and rains could touch anywhere from Virginia up to Maine.
According to the National Hurricane Center, there is a 30 per cent chance of the coastline from Virginia to Delaware receiving tropical-storm-strength winds as of Monday morning.
And there’s a 40-50 per cent chance of tropical-storm-force winds affecting the New Jersey, New York, Boston and Cape Cod areas between Monday evening and tuesday morning.
It may also take some time to leave, causing flooding from the Jersey shore to eastern New England – including Long Island and New York City.
Dangerous rip currents are also expected in the seas off those coasts.
The one good piece of news is that Lee is continuing to wallow in the Atlantic, having been downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression on Sunday.
Its winds had fallen to 35mph and were expected to continue to fall; by Sunday afternoon, the storm was around 910 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands.
To show there is a probable link, here is the following news regarding upcoming talks in New York with Israel.
Kushner, Friedman, and Greenblatt arriving to meet Netanyahu on Sunday to prepare for Netanyahu’s meeting with Trump. (photos: Walla News, Tal Shalev)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon met with eight senior leaders of the American Jewish community to talk about a broad range of issues including Israel-Diaspora relations, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran.
Later on Sunday, Netanyahu then hosted Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, as well as Senior Advisor to President Trump Jared Kushner, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Their meeting reportedly lasted over two hours. The PMO did not issue a readout of the meeting.(image: Weather.com)
Atmospheric conditions are favorable for Maria to grow into a dangerous major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) as it passes through the northeast Caribbean Islands due to a combination of low wind shear, a moist atmosphere and warm ocean temperatures.
It’s too early to know whether Maria will pose a threat to the United States, but it will be monitored closely for many days to come.(image: Weather.com)
Jose, a Category 1 hurricane in the western Atlantic, will continue to produce dangerous high surf and rip currents as it moves parallel to the Eastern Seaboard in the week ahead. Rain and tropical-storm-force winds are also expected to brush portions of the East Coast.
A tropical storm watch has been issued for the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. This includes from Fenwick Island, Delaware, to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, including the Delaware Bay South, and from East Rockaway Inlet, New York, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, including the Long Island Sound, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
A watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2017US President Donald Trump at residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, May 22, 2017 (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
US President Donald Trump’s upcoming meetings next week with Israeli and Palestinian leaders at the UN General Assembly will be largely detached from the latest round of conversations a US delegation had with both sides during a trip to the region in August, according to an administration source.
“Achieving peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians remains one of the president’s highest priorities, but the United Nations meetings will primarily focus on other issues and serve as check-in opportunities,” a senior White House official told The Times of Israel on Saturday.
“Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and Dina Powell just came off of a very productive trip to the region and those peace conversations are continuing at a steady pace and will be mostly separate from the United Nations meetings,” said the source.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters on Friday the major focus of the meeting will be Iran, while the administration’s efforts to forge a final-status Israeli-Palestinian accord will also be on the agenda.