Tropical Storm Maria tracks away from US, but what’s going on in the Caribbean?

Maria weakened to a tropical storm on Thursday as it continued to move away from the U.S.

Maria is one of three systems being tracked by the National Hurricane Center on Thursday. Maria and Category 2 Hurricane Lee are no longer threats to land. But that’s not the case for a third system, which is a tropical wave in the northwest Caribbean.

But first Maria. The National Hurricane Center expected Maria to head to the east and pick up speed over the next few days.

Tropical Storm Maria will head eastward and away from the U.S. today. (NHC) 

As of the last advisory from the hurricane center, at 10 a.m. CDT Thursday, Tropical Storm Maria was located about 365 miles east-northeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and was moving to the east at 13 mph.

Maria was a strong tropical storm with 70 mph winds.

Although all warnings have been dropped for the East Coast, forecasters said waves stirred up by Maria will pose a threat of rip currents and dangerous surf along beaches for the next day or two.

Hurricane Lee remained the strongest storm in the Atlantic with 100 mph winds on Thursday  morning.

Hurricane Lee is no threat to land. (NHC) 

That makes Lee aCategory 2 hurricane.

Lee briefly strengthened to a Category 3 storm on Wednesday, which made it the fifth major hurricane in the Atlantic this year.

As of the last advisory from the hurricane center Lee was located about 460 miles east-northeast of Bermuda and was moving north at 12 mph.

Lee is no threat to land and is expected to turn to the northeast and speed away later today.

There’s a new system to watch closer to home as of Thursday morning.

The hurricane center is monitoring an area of disturbed weather that extends from the northwestern Caribbean to the Bahamas for potential development.

As of Thursday morning it had a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression by next week.

The hurricane center said the system is expected to move northward over Cuba and near Florida’s east coast over the weekend and could bring heavy rain to the Keys and Florida peninsula.

Conditions appear favorable for it to develop, at least until early next week, forecasters said.

A tropical wave in the northwest Caribbean will bring heavy rain to Florida over the next few days. (NHC)