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Tropical Storm Maria heads west; Katia weakens to Category 1 - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Tropical Storm Maria heads west; Katia weakens to Category 1

MIAMI (AP/WCSC) — Tropical Storm Maria is swirling in the western Atlantic. It is still far from land and is not expected to strengthen in the next couple of days.

Hurricane Katia also continued to blow as a Category 1 storm in the Atlantic and is not expected to hit land.

Maria is the 13th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season and has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Maria is located about 1,500 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Tropical Storm Maria will continue to move west at 20 mph and is expected to strengthen.

[Interactive Hurricane Tracker]

Hurricane Katia is continuing to weaken as it spins in the Atlantic as a strong category 1 with 95 mph winds. Katia is expected to pass between the east coast and Bermuda Wednesday night and Thursday.

This will mean red flag conditions at the beaches with a high risk of deadly and dangerous rip currents. Stay out of the water and do not swim even if lifeguards are present.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Katia's maximum sustained winds Wednesday had dropped to 95 mph.

Forecast maps show Katia veering to the northeast away from the U.S. mainland in the coming week. But the hurricane center says large swells could affect the East Coast, Bermuda, the Greater Antilles and parts of the Bahamas over the next few days.

Katia is centered about 300 miles south-southwest of Bermuda and moving northwest at 9 mph.

Forecast maps show Katia veering to the northeast away from the U.S. mainland in the coming week. But the hurricane center says large swells could affect the East Coast, Bermuda, the Greater Antilles and parts of the Bahamas over the next few days.

High surf the next few days will also cause more extensive beach erosion and some shallow coastal salt water flooding at high tide.

Copyright The Associated Press and WCSC 2011. All rights reserved.

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