Maria and Nate Bring More Trouble in the Atlantic

September 8, 2011; 2:00 PM ET
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Wednesday marked the birth of two tropical storms in the Atlantic, Maria and Nate, both of which could pose a greater danger to land than Hurricane Katia.

Tropical Storm Maria is on a path that will take it much farther south in the tropical Atlantic compared to Katia, but should follow suite with Katia and curve away from the United States.

Those along the East Coast should also monitor Maria since its track bypassing the United States is not set in stone.

At the very least, Hurricane Coordinator Dan Kottlowski states, "Maria might track closer to the United States [than Katia]."

Maria will cause trouble in the Antilles and needs to be watched for impacts on Bermuda in the upcoming days.

Maria formed farther south than Katia and is in a steering flow that will take the tropical storm near the Leeward Islands, British and U.S. Virgin islands, Puerto Rico and even Hispaniola this weekend.

According to Kottlowski, "Maria is experiencing [disruptive wind] shear and pockets of dry air. So we are not expecting much in the way of intensification."

At this point, while it appears the main threat to the northern part of the Lesser Antilles is from torrential downpours and flash flooding spreading from west to east this weekend, wind and rough seas would also become problems if Maria strengthens significantly.

Beyond this weekend, odds favor Maria staying on the northern side of the Greater Antilles (Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba) with an eventual northward turn either over the open waters of the western Atlantic or perhaps very close to Bermuda.

Completing the trio of tropical systems in the Atlantic is Tropical Storm Nate, which continues to churn in the Bay of Campeche.

Consensus among meteorologists is for Nate to slowly turn westward toward the east coast of mainland Mexico in the upcoming days, strengthening into a hurricane in the process.

Landfall would not occur until at least early next week, giving residents plenty of time to prepare for the flooding rain and damaging winds that will accompany Nate onshore.

Unfortunately, latest indications keep Nate's rain from providing any drought relief to wildfire-ravaged Texas.

How do you solve a problem like Maria and Nate? Keep checking in at for updates. Expert Senior Meteorologists have the latest "sound of the tropics" in the video below. Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski contributed to the content of this story.


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