Its threat to the U.S. coast diminishing, Tropical Storm Maria slowed to a crawl in the western Atlantic on Monday afternoon.
However, the system is expected to slowly pick up forward speed and steam over the next couple of days and aim generally toward Bermuda.
At 5 p.m. on Monday, Maria was about 360 miles southeast of the southern Bahamas, drifting northwest at 2 mph with sustained winds of 50 mph.
Ever since Maria emerged six days ago, its intensity has been erratic, at times weak and at others robust. In turn, its intensity forecast also has been all over the board.
At one time it was predicted to be a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph and now is projected to remain a tropical storm with maximum winds of 60 mph.
The main reason Maria's intensity forecast has been difficult: All along, the system been battling wind shear, said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.
"The shear would ease just a bit, allowing Tropical Storm Maria to rebound a little, only to be stifled again," he said.
What has remained relatively consistent is the projected path.
Over the next five days, Maria is forecast to gently curve northeast, remaining well east of the Bahamas and Florida along the way.
It is projected to move between Bermuda and the U.S. coast on Thursday, although it still might brush the island nation.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun