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Tropical Storm Maria forms in the Atlantic

Tropical Storm Maria formed Wednesday as it churned across the Atlantic, becoming the 13th named storm of an already above-average hurricane season.

An average season has 11 named storms, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The system, about 1,300 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, was moving west about 23 miles per hour Wednesday morning with winds of about 50 mph. Slight strengthening was forecast for the next two days.

Maria wasn't an immediate threat to land.

The five-day forecast shows the system passing near the Lesser Antilles on Saturday before moving near Puerto Rico, the island of Hispaniola and the Bahamas, according to the NHC. It's forecast to become a hurricane Monday.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Katia, now a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds, was forecast to pass between the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda on Wednesday night and Thursday, and then curve northeast and head into the northern Atlantic.

The five-day forecast does not show it making landfall.

Forecasters were also watching another area that showed some signs of developing.

A broad area of low pressure in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico had a 60 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.

Latest forecast track

Weather Underground Inc. | Updates on this storm

Tropical Storm Maria forms in the Atlantic 09/07/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 1:07pm]
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