Hurricane Maria forms in Atlantic

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Tropical storm Maria intensified and became the season's fifth hurricane on Sunday, September 4. The hurricane is currently growing stronger in the warm waters of the open Atlantic Ocean.

According to MSNBC News, at 5 AM EDT the hurricane had a maximum sustained wind of 75 MPH, which barely qualifies for category 1 hurricane status, and was centered 256 miles southeast of Bermuda. Currently it is moving north-northwest and is predicted to turn northward late Sunday or early Monday. Hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart believes that should the hurricane continue on its predicted route, "Maria should remain well to the east of Bermuda and only pose a threat to shipping interests.”

This hurricane does not appear to pose a threat comparable to the current major US disaster, Hurricane Katrina, as it is expected to move soon into cooler Atlantic waters, which will sap much of its strength.

Maria is the 13th named storm of the hurricane season, far surpassing the typical 4 or 5 named storms at this time of year. The season runs from June 1 to November 30.