MIAMI (CBS4) – Tropical Depression #14 has strengthened into Tropical Storm Maria as it barrels across the eastern Atlantic.

At 11 p.m., the center of the system was located about 1,070  miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands and moving west near 23 mph.

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Maximum sustained winds have increased to 50 mph and some strengthening is expected over the next day or so.  Tropical storm force winds extend 45 miles from the storm’s center.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Leeward Islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis and Saint Kitts.  A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

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Forecasters say the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of the storm.

You can get complete details on the storm, including up-to date maps and forecasts, at the CBSMiami Tropical Weather Center.

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You can also check on preps for tropical weather with checklists, shutter advice, and even preparation videos at CBSMiami Hurricane Preps