Tracking the tropics: Jose, Lee and Maria now eyeing land

Connecticut prepares for Hurricane Jose (NBC News)

While all eyes in the Outer Banks and New England are on Hurricane Jose and its apparent northward track this week, the rest of the tropics remain under threat from not just one, but two tropical storm systems.

Tropical Storm Lee formed in the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday morning, and is likely to move toward the Caribbean Islands over the course of the week. Forecasters indicate that Lee may not be a great threat in the near term.

But a new depression -- labeled Potential Tropical Cyclone 15 by the National Hurricane Center -- has the capability to be a greater threat in the near future.

By later today, it may become Tropical Storm Maria, and in advance of that, tropical storm watches have been issued for parts of the Windward and Leeward Islands, including St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica. A tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions are possible in the warned area -- generally within 48 hours.

Additional tropical storm or hurricane watches will likely be issued later in the day on Saturday.

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On its current path, PTC #15 -- or what will likely become Maria -- will most likely move toward areas previously hit by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose, including Barbuda, Antigua and Puerto Rico, later this week.

As of 11 am Saturday, Hurricane Jose was located about 480 south-southeast of Cape Hatteras and about 500 miles west-southwest of Bermuda moving to the northwest at 9 mph. Maximum sustained winds are at 80 mph.

Tropical storm watches may be needed for the Outer Banks and parts of New England in advance of Jose later in the day on Saturday.

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