SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Here's a Saturday afternoon tropical update from WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams:
SUMMARY: Tropical Depression Fifteen has intensified and has become Tropical Storm Maria. It's expected to become a hurricane. Meanwhile, Lee & Jose pose no Gulf threat.
Sure there's lots going on in the tropics this weekend. But, our main focus is Tropical Storm Maria: it will hit Leeward Islands as a hurricane by Tuesday.
T.S. Maria is forecast to develop into a hurricane and is expected to hit areas near the Leeward Islands as a major category three hurricane with max winds of 120 miles per hour.
Hurricane Watches have been issued for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, and Montserrat. Some of these same places just got annihilated by Major Hurricanes Irma and Jose in recent weeks.
You may recall that Maria was was formerly known as "Tropical Depression Fifteen," "Potential Tropical Cyclone Fifteen," & "Invest 96L" earlier Saturday.
The WLOX Weather Team will be watching to see where Maria will end up after nearing Hispaniola late next week.
"It's too early to know if it goes to the Gulf or not," said Williams on Saturday. "But, many computer models project this system to take a turn to the north before getting into the Gulf. We will have a better idea by next week."
Jose and Lee pose no threat to the Gulf.