Hurricane Norma edges toward Baja California Peninsula, Jose threatens US East Coast – Chicago Tribune

Hurricane season roared on as Norma edged toward Mexico’s resort-studded Baja California Peninsula on Saturday, Jose threatened heavy surf along the U.S. East Coast and Tropical Storm Lee formed in the Atlantic far from land.

Meanwhile a tropical depression formed in the Atlantic that threatened to gain force and head in the direction of Caribbean islands already ravaged by Hurricane Irma.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula due to Norma, which the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph, just above the minimum threshold for a Category 1 hurricane.

The storm was 240 miles south of Cabo San Lucas and moving north at 2 mph, with forecasters saying it could approach waters southwest of the peninsula late Sunday or early Monday.

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

The Baja California Sur government readied storm shelters and canceled classes for Monday as well as a planned military parade in the state capital, La Paz, amid Mexican Independence Day celebrations.

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

The center added that tropical storm watches were possible for the U.S. East Coast later in the day and advised people from North Carolina to New England to monitor Jose’s progress.

The hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. It was located about 480 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and was heading northwest at 9 mph.

Also Saturday, Tropical Storm Lee formed in the eastern Atlantic with sustained winds of 40 mph. The storm was about 655 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands and posed no immediate threat to land. Little change in strength was forecast over the next couple of days as it heads toward the west.

To the west, another system prompted tropical storm watches for a portion of the Lesser Antilles and was forecast to strengthen and brush by islands that were recently wrecked by Irma.

Tropical Depression Fifteen was about 695 miles east-southeast of the area, and a tropical storm watch was in effect for the islands of St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The hurricane center said the depression was expected to become a tropical storm later Saturday and could be near hurricane status when it approaches the Leeward Islands on Tuesday.

The death toll from Irma in the Caribbean was 38.

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