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.
Umbrellas and raincoats will be put to good use by those along much of the Interstate-95 corridor as rain moves northward during the middle of the week.
Temperatures will rebound across the Northeast this coming weekend, after a setback with clouds and rain along the coast before Friday.
A storm from the Pacific Ocean will first raise the fire danger in California, then bring cooler air and spotty rain for firefighting efforts.
A chilly start to fall has provided a sufficient cold blast to bring out the vibrant colors of autumn leaves.
A melting alpine glacier on Mount Shasta in northern California created a messy situation as the flowing ice water turned into a disruptive mudslide with more harmful rainfall on the way.
A storm moving up the Atlantic coast with rain will briefly disrupt the dry weather and warming trend this week around Washington, D.C.
Pittsburgh, PA (1989)
Trace of snow at the airport (11:00 a.m.) Actually fell as ice pellets for 8 minutes, but counts as the earliest snow on record. The old record was a trace on Sept. 24, 1928.
Kansas City, MO (1993)
Severe early morning thunderstorm brings 90 mph wind gusts to the area.
Snow in the Appalachians.