A tropical storm watch has been issued for Dominica as Tropical Storm Maria continues to speed across the Tropical Atlantic.
The storm is now expected to pass 40 miles south of Dominica in the early hours of Saturday morning.
At 11 am the center of Tropical Storm Maria was located near latitude 13.0 north, longitude 51.2 west about 660 miles east of the Leeward Islands.
Maria is moving toward the west near 22 mph and this general motion is expected to continue today followed by a turn toward the west-northwest and a decrease in forward speed on Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles mainly to the north and east of the center. Maria is not well organized at this time and surface and satellite imagery data indicate that Maria could be degenerating into a depression.
Tropical storm watches has been issued for Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area by late Friday as feeder bands from Maria are expected to begin spreading across the island.
Sea swells will be a major concern and are expected to peak up to 4.0 metres by Friday into Saturday across the island. All users of the sea and residents in coastal areas, especially on the northern and eastern coastlines are advised to take the necessary precautions.