MIAMI — Tropical Storm Nate was getting a little stronger Thursday as it meandered in the Bay of Campeche off Mexico's Gulf coast, where it was expected to bring rain and higher tides.
Nate was one of three tropical systems churning in the Gulf and Atlantic far from U.S. shores as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee flooded roads and highways from Maryland to New England, adding to the misery of areas still recovering from Hurricane Irene.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Nate had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph) and could become a hurricane Friday or Saturday. It was centered about 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of Campeche, Mexico, and was drifting southeast near 1 mph (2 kph) before a forecast change to the east or northeast.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for Mexico's coast from Chilitepec to Celestun. A tropical storm watch was issued for the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Celestun to Progreso.
Tropical Storm Maria was crossing the open Atlantic with top sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph). A tropical storm watch was in effect for a host of islands: Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barthelemy, St. Marteen, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St. Maartin, Saba and St. Eustatius.Story: About 100,000 told to flee Northeast flooding
Maria was centered about 605 miles (975 kilometers) east of the Windward Islands and was moving west at 22 mph (35 kph).
The storm's forecast track called for its center to approach the Leeward Islands by Friday night. Forecasters said Maria was becoming less organized and could lose its tropical storm status.
Also, Hurricane Katia was blowing northward as a Category 1 storm in the Atlantic, passing between the U.S. and Bermuda. Its winds were 85 mph (135 kph). Katia wasn't expected to hit land, but was pushing large swells to the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda.
Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an above-average storm season for the Atlantic and Caribbean. Slightly updating its May outlook, the agency called for 14 to 19 named tropical storms, up from a previous prediction of 14 to 18 storms.
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