And they call the wind Maria.  And Maria's a lot meaner than her cousin, Mariah.

The season's 13th hurricane is churning in the Atlantic about 200 miles east southeast of Dominica and the Leeward Islands.  Maria has sustained winds of 85 mph, but those are expected to increase to Category 4 strength in the next 48 hours which means winds of 130 mph or more.

The projected path of the storm does not include our area of the Gulf Of Mexico at this time, but unfortunately for residents of the battered Caribbean islands and Florida, Maria is almost mimicking Irma's track.  The impact of Irma is still being assessed, but 44 people were killed in the Caribbean.  So far, 33 deaths have been reported in the U.S. with 9 of those being in the devastated Florida Keys.  The economic cost of the storm is expected to be around $18 billion with 90% of that in Florida.

Maria is one of three storms in the Atlantic right now, but it appears Jose will steer clear of the U.S. east coast, while Tropical Depression Lee is puttering along with 35-mph winds further out in the ocean.



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