Maria's track shifts slightly west, could bring 'direct impacts' to NC


Maria's track shifts slightly west, could bring 'direct impacts' to NC

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.

Hurricane Maria is forecast to lift north and be near or off the North Carolina coast by midweek, and tropical storm force winds could arrive in the area by early Monday morning.

"Maria's forecast track has shifted closer to the USA east coast, and it is becoming increasingly likely that some direct impacts will occur along portions of the coast next week", the Hurricane Center's 11 a.m. update said.

And now the what ifs: The forecast track for the storm has shifted westward as of Saturday morning and could shift even more to the west, according to forecasters. Maria is now sitting to the east of the Bahamas, with a slow north northwest movement.

Computer models continue to move the storm's path farther west, and the Outer Banks now falls within the Hurricane Center's "cone of uncertainty", which is very large four and five days from now. Jose is expected to meander off the East Coast, its center approximately 300 miles due south of the ME shoreline, for the next several days, according to the National Weather Service. If the storm stays in the wake of José, cooler water will eventually cause it to weaken, the Hurricane Center said.

"And whether the resulting Atlantic depression becomes a named storm will depend of course on the final track over the eastern Atlantic". What was left of Lee has redeveloped and was classified as a tropical depression on Friday afternoon and a tropical storm late Friday night.

"Hurricanes and tropical storms throw three hazards at us: wind, rainfall, and storm surge", he wrote.