Tropical Storm Maria Joins Katia in Atlantic, Eyes Eastern U.S.

As a weakened Hurricane Katia– expected to pass between Bermuda and the east coast of the U.S. by Thursday – continues to spin away in the Atlantic, another tropical storm has formed and is projected to travel on a path very similar to Hurricane Irene, which ravaged the Eastern Seaboard in late August.

According to a report by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Tropical Storm Maria – the 13th named system of the 2011 season – was racing across the tropical Atlantic late Wednesday and threatening the Leeward Islands.

While meteorologists say that Maria – which was moving west 23 miles per hour from her position 1,070 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands as of the latest update – has the potential to hit the U.S. with hurricane force winds come mid-September, they add that there is no need to panic just yet.

Being that Maria is still located over the mid-Atlantic with maximum sustained winds of only 50mph and that she is not expected to approach the United States for another week to 10 days, “anything can happen,” said Mike Pigott, senior meteorologist at

Nevertheless, the government of Antigua posted a tropical storm watch for the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis and Saint Kitts and NHC forecasters urged residents of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to stay up to date on Maria’s movements.

For extremely in-depth coverage on Hurricane Katia and Tropical Storm Maria, watch the latest video by MrHurricaneTracker below: