Both features will fluctuate in intensity during the next few days. Maria may drop below tropical storm status at times, while Nate could get an upgrade.
Regardless, both will still need to be watched.
Nate remains in weak steering currents in the Gulf of Mexico, which render reliable path projections nearly impossible beyond a few days.
According to AccuWeather.com Hurricane Coordinator Dan Kottlowski, "Nate is a very slow-moving system at this point, but is showing signs of strengthening."
It is appearing more and more likely that Nate will take a more westerly path, heading toward Mexico.
Unfortunately, with a more westerly track, it does not appear likely that Texas will get the much-needed rain.
Fast-moving Maria will take a track west of Katia. How far west is the problem.
The last thing anyone wants is a track similar to Irene, which would raise new flooding concerns, among other things, from the Antilles to the Bahamas and much of the East Coast of the U.S.
Maria is already situated in a steering flow that is farther to the south and west than Katia.
"Wind shear, the current fast movement of the storm, and its eventual interaction with part of the Antilles will limit its strength into the weekend," Kottlowski said.
A channel remains for Maria to later turn northward, which it should take advantage of, avoiding the Gulf of Mexico. This northward curve could begin this weekend, or sometime next week.
There is plenty of room for Maria to take the turn sooner than what Irene did, and curve out like Katia is forecast to do.
The consensus among AccuWeather.com meteorologists is that Maria is "not" likely to become a powerful hurricane before hitting the Antilles. However, even a mere tropical storm can do tremendous damage in terms of rainfall, as evidenced by Irene and Lee.
"We would not be surprised if Maria tries to strengthen to the north and east of the Bahamas early next week," Kottlowski commented.
Kottlowski does offer some hope for folks blasted by damaging wind, waves and flooding along the Atlantic Seaboard recently.
"It appears that the same jet stream pattern that helped to create the flooding situation with Lee would tend to sweep Maria out to sea," Kottlowski said.
Millions of people can only hope that to be the case.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands are being displaced by flooding this week in the mid-Atlantic from part of Lee's remnants.
Mother Nature delivered a blast of fresh powder as a pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm struck the East, much to the delight of holiday skiers.
A storm system that pushed through the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. on Wednesday hampered millions of travelers attempting to reach their final destinations for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Seattle will see a plunge in temperatures as the holiday weekend winds down.
Thousands of people across New England had to spend their evening in darkness this Thanksgiving weekend, as a powerful Northeast snowstorm wiped out electricity across the region on Wednesday.
People across the Northwest and northern California will be reaching for their umbrellas heading into the weekend as a system spreads rain over the West.
After drenching the Philippines earlier this week, Tropical Storm Sinlaku will target Vietnam and Cambodia this weekend.
Goodland, KS (1983)
19 inches of snow on the ground with drifts of up to 8 feet.
Sixty cities tied or established new record high temperatures for the date.
Chardon, OH (1996)
A bull's eye for lake effect snow for the month with more than 70".