ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- If you were wondering when the peak of hurricane season arrives, look no further than the present.
Actually, we're past peak by seven days. Sept. 10 is when there most likely is a tropical system in the Atlantic basin, so it should come as no surprise this is an active time of year.
For storm-weary Texans and Floridians, this isn't the best news: there are three storms churning across open water right now. Hurricane Jose, Tropical Storm Lee and Tropical Storm Maria each bear watching for their potential impacts to the U.S.
Let's break them down:
(Information as of the 5 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, advisories from the National Hurricane Center. Visit its website for the latest.)
This storm was a topic of discussion before Hurricane Irma made its two landfalls in Florida. It continues to meander off the East Coast as an 80-mph Category 1 hurricane.
Jose is moving north at 8 mph and will not affect land through mid-week. However, parts of Massachusetts' Cape Cod are in the National Hurricane Center's track, meaning the center of the storm could make landfall there.
Even if the storm does not make landfall, expect gusty winds and a high risk of rip currents as the storm churns up the ocean along the eastern seaboard.
Tropical Storm Lee
There are no expectations at this time Lee will pose a great danger to the U.S. Lee is moving west at 7 mph as a weak, 40-mph tropical storm. There is a good amount of wind shear -- often a death knell of tropical cyclones as it helps to disorganize a storm.
Lee is forecast to weaken or dissipate entirely toward the end of the week.
Tropical Storm Maria
Maria won't be the most beautiful sound ever heard should it continue its track toward the Caribbean.
The islands already ravaged by Hurricane Irma again are under hurricane watches, including Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica and others. Tropical storm watches are in effect as well for neighboring islands.
Maria is forecast to become a hurricane as early as Sunday and become a major, Category 3 storm as early as midweek. By then, some of its outer rain bands and gusts could affect Puerto Rico.
The 65 mph storm is moving toward the west-northwest at a decent, 15-mph clip.
From there, it is too early to say when and if the storm makes a U.S. landfall. High waves and rip currents will be the most likely impact should Maria stay out to sea as early as next week.
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