Maria leaves Caribbean, now threatens US east coast

Laura Christensen
September 26, 2017

The hurricane center said Saturday that tropical storm or hurricane watches may be needed for a portion of the Carolinas or Mid-Atlantic coast on Sunday. The Outer Banks could see some strong winds from the outer bands of the storm by midweek.

Hurricane Maria is expected to soon create unsafe waves and strong rip currents along parts of the southeast US coast as the Category 3 storm moves away from the Bahamas and into open water.

"Interests along the Carolina and mid-Atlantic coasts [of the U.S. East Coast] should monitor the progress of Maria", the NHC stated. "The shaded area around its path corresponds to about a 60 to 70 percent chance that the location of the storm center remains within that "fan", so there remains a slight chance for landfall over eastern N.C".

Original Post: Hurricane Maria emerged as a slightly weaker storm on Sunday morning, officially classified at category 2 intensity with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

Puerto Rico's government says engineers will inspect the Guajataca Dam on Sunday to determine the extent of damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria last week. The hurricane's maximum sustained winds are at 115 miles per hour.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Jose have received the most attention so far, as they had the most significant impacts on populated areas. This should arrive Friday and be noticeable Saturday, when high temperatures struggle to escape the 60s.

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Forecasters think the core of the hurricane will stay offshore, but it could come close enough that parts of the coast will feel some of its effects.

Maria is roughly 425 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, moving north at 9 mph.

The hurricane center's intensity forecast shows Maria as a minimal Category 1 hurricane in five days. One, is a weakness in the blocking ridge east of us due to Jose and the second is a digging trough coming in from the west that will kick Maria out to sea.

Lee is predicted to turn southwest or west by Tuesday, but a change in strength is not expected over the next two days. High surf and a high risk of rip current will continue through the weekend.

The prolonged gusty north to northeast winds will lead to storm surge inundation of 2 to 4 feet above ground mainly for the beaches north of Cape Lookout and adjacent to the southern Pamlico Sound.

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