27 September, 2017
Large swells generated by Maria are affecting most of the East Coast of the U.S. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Maria's maximum sustained winds Tuesday morning are near 75 miles per hour (120 kph).
North Carolina may bear the worst of the storm, as current forecasts show Maria brushing its coast late Tuesday into early Wednesday.
Tropical storm warnings still extend along the North Carolina coast. A storm surge watch was also in effect for Cape Lookout to Duck.
Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler reports hurricane force winds from Maria will stay offshore.
Schools were closed Tuesday in all of Dare County because of expected tropical storm conditions. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or so.
"NOAA buoy 41025, located about 15 miles (25 km) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, recently reported a wind gust to 45 mph (72 km/h)".
Now, for where Maria's headed.
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Maria is being steered by a ridge of high pressure in the central Atlantic.
It could continue to track northward, or northwestward, for the next three days, the hurricane center said, and could slow down a bit. Gradual weakening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Maria is forecast to become a tropical storm within the next day or so.
The hurricane center said forecast models agree on this general scenario but differ on the timing and location of that curve.
Hurricane Maria could prompt storm watches along North Carolina's Outer Banks as it rolls north after killing at least 10 people and knocking out power to the entire U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The five-day tracking model shows Maria maintaining hurricane strength through Friday as it makes it way north before turning northeast and heading further out into the Atlantic.
The hurricane center said Lee could be near Category 3 intensity by Monday.
The large Category 1 hurricane was centered at 11 a.m. EDT Monday about 315 miles (505 kilometers) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. As the month winds down, two named storms remain in the Atlantic.