The system is expected to become a tropical storm later Saturday and possibly a hurricane when it reaches the already-storm beaten Leeward Islands early in the week, forecasters said.
Maria was about 450 miles (720 km) east-southeast of the Leeward Islands at 11 a.m. E.T., with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.
Additional tropical storm or hurricane watches will likely be issued later in the day on Saturday. It's expected to produce unsafe surf and rip currents along the coast. Forecasters said tropical storm watches might need to be put into effect for some areas on the eastern coast of the U.S.
It was centered about 355 miles southeast of Cape Hattaras late Sunday morning and was moving north at 9 mph.
Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Fourteen has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Lee, the 12th named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.
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At 8 a.m. Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said the storm was located at 13.3° north and 55.6° west.
With Jose about 500 miles south of Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center on Friday warned of the potential for "direct impacts next week along portions of the East Coast ... from North Carolina northward". However, we'll notice a change as early as Monday as we keep our eyes on Hurricane Jose. From there, the forecast remains uncertain. The forecast Sunday said Jose appears to be on a course to remain offshore of the United States coast from Virginia toward New England.
A slower west-northwest motion is expected during the next couple of days.
Lee is expected to weaken to a tropical depression by Tuesday. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was about 655 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands. But the storm poses no threat to land and is likely to fizzle in five days.