As the eastern Carribean islands begin to mend the damage that Hurricane Irma recently caused, there's yet another hurricane picking up speed that's headed directly for the islands.

According to the National Hurricane Center's latest update, Hurricane Maria is forecasted to significantly strengthen during the next 48 hours and is expected to become a dangerous major hurricane before it moves through the Leeward Islands.

As of this morning, Hurricane Maria is currently about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Martinique and about 130 miles (215 east-southeast) of Dominica. The storm is currently a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 90 mph and is forecast to continue moving toward the eastern Caribbean at 13 mph.

However, by the time the hurricane reaches the northeastern Carribean Sea, Maria is expected to be a Category 3 or 4 intensity.

When Maria reaches the islands, it's forecasted that the hurricane will bring torrential rainfall, which could cause deadly flash flooding and mudslides on islands that it crosses.

Maria could dump anywhere from 6 to 12 inches of rain across the Leeward Islands including Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands through Wednesday night. And after the devastating damage that Hurricane Irma has already caused, additional destruction would be disastrous.

Global Affairs Canada has advised people to avoid all travel to the following areas: Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy.

While it's unclear if there could be any potential severe weather heading for the east coast of Canada in the wake of hurricane Maria, Environment Canada has said that there will be some showers, gale forces, and increasingly rough surf conditions can be expected.

Source: CNN & CBC News

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