Weather watchers keep eye on Hurricane Maria churning toward East Coast

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The NHC said Maria could produce a "dangerous storm surge accompanied by large and destructive waves" that will raise water levels by four to six feet (1.2 to 1.8 meters) when it passes through the Leeward Islands.

While a US East Coast impact from Maria isn't out of the question, it is simply too far out to give a forecast for exactly where Maria will go once it exits the Bahama islands Saturday, Sept. 23rd.

Forecasters say the storm is expected to cause unsafe surf and rip currents.

Hurricane Jose has sped up its northward trek with no change in strength but remains far from land as it generates powerful swells affecting coastal areas in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the US southeast. "We're not out of the woods just yet, and we still do just have to watch this, because these computer models can change, just like they did with Irma". A tropical storm warning was posted for Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia among other places.

All three countries are on a hurricane warning or watch for Maria, along with Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique and the British overseas territory of Montserrat.

Unsafe surf and rip currents are expected along the east coast of the United States as Jose moves closer to land. Its path continues toward Puerto Rico, where it could make landfall as a category 4 hurricane with winds over 130 miles per hour.

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Maria is now moving west northwest at 15 miles per hour, but should decrease in speed as it nears the Lesser Antilles.

Farther north, long-lived Hurricane Jose continued to head northward off the U.S. East Coast, causing risky surf and rip currents.

Meanwhile, the NHC in Miami is also monitoring Tropical Storm Lee.

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Forecasters upgraded Tropical Storm Maria to a hurricane Sunday as the storm heads toward the Leeward Islands. The east coast from North Carolina to MA is under a Tropical Storm Watch.

Jose is expected to continue to move northward, and eventually make a turn to the northeast and southeast as it weakens to a tropical storm, then a tropical depression.