Tropical Storm Maria the 13th Named Storm of Season


Tropical Storm MariaTHUNDER BAY – Satellite images from the Atlantic Ocean indicate the tropical depression in the tropical Atlantic has intensified. The storm is now the 13th named storm of the 2011 Storm season, Tropical Storm Maria. Maria is, currently racing westward across the tropical Atlantic so far with no significant strengthening anticipated.

At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 13.2 north / longitude 44.2 west. Maria is moving toward the west near 23 mph (37 km/h), and this rapid motion is expected to continue during the next 24 hours with a gradual decrease in forward speed thereafter. Maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph (85 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast. An Air Force reconnaissance plane is scheduled to reach Maria late Thursday.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center.

This storm is, according to the five day tracking, taking a much straighter and more southerly path. This one may bear closer watching if it does not start a northwest shift like Hurricane Katia.

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