Islands hit by Irma bracing for another hurricane

Islands blasted by Hurricane Irma last week may face another hurricane by Monday, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Saturday.

A potential tropical storm located about 755 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles is expected to become a tropical storm later today as it heads west at a quick 22 mph. Forecasters expect the system to become a Category 1 hurricane over the next 48 to 72 hours.

Tropical storm watches have been issued for St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Dominica.

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The system does not yet have an eye, making it hard to predict what track the storm will take, foreasters said. The current track moves it across the Leeward Islands in three days, then near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico — which are also digging out from Hurricane Irma — in about five days.

Forecasters expect the system to gradually strengthen and warned that hurricane conditions and heavy rain could hit the Lesser Antilles early next week, then spread into Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Tropical Storm Lee has also formed farther east in the Atlantic, forecasters said. But the storm poses no threat to land and it’s likely to fizzle in five days.