Tropical storm prompts hurricane watch for Caribbean islands battered by Irma

A tropical storm has formed in the Atlantic and is expected to strengthen, prompting hurricane watches for some of the Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma.

The National Hurricane Centre said Tropical Storm Maria was expected to approach the Leeward Islands on Monday, and was bringing winds of up to 50 mph.

The islands of Guadeloupe, Antigua, Barbuda, St Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat are on hurricane alert.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Norma is nearing Mexico's resort-studded Baja California Peninsula, with forecasters saying it could approach waters southwest of the peninsula late on Sunday or early on Monday.

The region is home to the twin resort cities of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo and was hit about two weeks ago by Tropical Storm Lidia, which flooded streets and homes and killed at least four people.

Image via The National Hurricane Centre.

The Baja California Sur government readied storm shelters and cancelled a planned military parade in the state capital, La Paz, amid Mexican Independence Day celebrations.

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose was moving slowly but far from land, but generating powerful swells that were affecting coastal areas in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the US southeast.

The Hurricane Centre added that tropical storm watches were possible for the US east coast later in the day and advised people from North Carolina to New England to monitor Jose's progress, with life-threatening rip-currents expected.

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