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Tropical Storm Maria weakens; Mexico issues hurricane warning for Nate

Tropical Storm Maria (2011)Mexico

Tropical Storm Maria became a little more organized Saturday night and the center is expected to pass north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Sunday, according to the 11 p.m. update from theNational Hurricane Center in Miami.

The storm could strengthen a little as it moves but it would likely remain on the low end of the intensity levels.

At 11 p.m. Saturday, Maria was in the Atlantic about 30 miles north-northeast of St. Martin and 210 miles east of San Juan. It was moving northwest at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, with higher gusts.

Maria is expected to produce 2 to 4 inches of rain, with isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches over the central to northern Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Nate is continuing to strengthen and a hurricane warning has been issued from Tuxpan to Veracruz, Mexico. Authorities warned people in its path to rush to complete their preparations. A hurricane watch was issued from south of Veracruz to Punta El Lagarto and from Tampico to north of Tuxpan.

As of 11 p.m., the storm was about 95 miles northeast of Veracruz and 170 miles east-southeast of Tuxpan.

It is moving slowly toward the west at about 6 mph. It is expected to reach the coast of Mexico Sunday.

Nate's maximum sustained winds have increased to 65 mph, with higher gusts, and the storm is expected to become a hurricane before it makes landfall. Tropical storm force winds extend outward 105 miles. Rainfall is expected to be about 4 to 6 inches, with isolated maximums of 12 inches in some parts of Veracruz and Tabasco.

Katia has lost its tropical characteristics and is continuing its trek into the North Atlantic. It is expected to dissipate within the next three days but bring strong winds to Ireland and Britain on Monday.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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