MIAMI (CBS4) – The National Hurricane Center said late Friday night that hurricane hunter planes show Tropical Storm Maria remains poorly organized as it moves slowly toward the Leeward Islands.
At 11:00 p.m., the center of the system was located about 130 miles north of Barbados as it moved to the northwest at 14 miles per hour.
Maximum sustained winds remained steady at 45 mph. On this forecast track, the center of Maria be near the Virgin Islands by Saturday night.
The NHC said the system could gradually strengthen further over the weekend.
In advance of the system, a tropical storm warning has been issued for St. Maartin, Guadeloupe, Saba, St. Eustatius, Antigua, Anguilla, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis, Saint Kitts, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico including Vieques and Culebra, Dominica, St. Barthelemy, St. Marteen, and Martinique.
The NHC said residents in the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern Bahamas should be monitoring the progress of Maria closely.
Maria could dump as much as 10 inches of rain over the central to northern Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
You can get complete details on the storm, including up-to date maps and forecasts, at the CBSMiami Tropical Weather Center.
You can also check on preps for tropical weather with checklists, shutter advice, and even preparation videos at CBSMiami Hurricane Preps