Maria Brings High Surf and Strong Winds to the East Coast
Hurricane Maria is not expected to make landfall in the Eastern U.S., but it will still produce coastal flooding, strong winds, and high surf. Maria is a category one storm with winds to 80 mph. The center is located about 315 miles east of Cape Hatteras, NC. Maria is a large hurricane, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 90 miles from the center, primarily to the east. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles from the center of the storm.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Cape Lookout to Duck, NC, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. Tropical Storm Watches continue from North of Duck to the North Carolina – Virginia border and North of Surf City to south of Cape Lookout. A Storm Surge Watch is also in effect from Cape Lookout to Duck.
As Maria moves northward, tropical storm force winds are expected to reach coastal North Carolina. Due to a persistent on-shore flow, a surge of 2 to 4 feet is possible near the Outer Banks if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide. 1″ to 2″ of rain is possible in these areas as well.
Swells generated by Maria are affecting portions of the coast of the southeastern United States and Bermuda and will be increasing along the Mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts today.
Swells also continue to affect Puerto Rico, the northern coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current
Maria is expected to continue on a northward path, although slow down tomorrow. The center of Maria will move well east of the mainland U.S. during the next day or so. Satellite and hurricane hunter aircraft observations indicate that Maria’s structure has changed considerably since Sunday. Deep thunderstorms are now primarily confined to the eastern semicircle of circulation. The storm has spread out considerably, with the radius of maximum winds having significantly increased. These observations, along with cool sea surface temperatures, moderate westerly wind shear, and dry air are expected to cause gradual weakening over the next couple of days.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels