Hurricane Maria Forms in Atlantic; Warnings Issued for St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat

September 17, 2017 Last Updated: September 17, 2017

Hurricane Maria formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday afternoon, according to a 5 p.m. ET update from the National Hurricane Center on Sept. 17.

Maria comes less than two weeks after Hurricane Irma wrecked much of the Caribbean before making landfall in Cuba, Florida, and other parts of the southeastern United States, killing more than 70 people.

(NOAA / NHC)
(NOAA / NHC)

Maria is a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph. It’s now 140 miles east-northeast of Barbados, and moving at 15 mph to the west-northwest.

The NHC said that several hurricane watches and warnings are now in effect.

(NOAA / NHC)
(NOAA / NHC)

“The government of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a Hurricane Warning for St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat,” the agency said. “The government of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Antigua and Barbuda. The Hurricane Watch has been discontinued for these islands.”

Barbuda and Antigua were both slammed by Irma earlier this month. The prime minister of the country remarked that “95 percent” of the buildings on Barbuda were destroyed by the storm.

(NOAA / NHC)
(NOAA / NHC)

“The government of the Netherlands has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Saba and St. Eustatius. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands. The government of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a Hurricane Watch for the British Virgin Islands,” the NHC said.

The British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, and St. Martin/St. Maarten are under hurricane watches. Those islands were also impacted by Irma.

(NOAA / NHC)
(NOAA / NHC)

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the following:

– St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat
– Guadeloupe
– Dominica

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the following:
– Martinique
– Antigua and Barbuda
– Saba and St. Eustatius
– St. Lucia

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the following:
– U.S. Virgin Islands
– British Virgin Islands
– Saba and St. Eustatius
– St. Maarten
– St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
– Anguilla

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the following:
– St. Vincent and the Grenadines
– Barbados

As reported by The Weather Channel, “Maria could strengthen to a major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) before reaching the Leeward Islands.”

“It’s too soon to determine whether Maria will ever directly impact the United States, but it will be monitored closely,” the Channel stated.