Hurricane Maria to impact East Coast this week


Update, 11 p.m.: Hurricane Maria continues its way north up the Atlantic Ocean as a strong Category 3 hurricane Friday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is Maria is moving toward the north near 9 miles per hour (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through Monday. Far to the north is what's left of Hurricane Jose. It also hammered the Dominican Republic, the US Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory.

So by no means is this hurricane season done, and there will probably be another developing system to monitor in the Caribbean, and then perhaps across portions of the Gulf of Mexico and/or the Southeast the first week of October. 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.

Forecasters expect "dangerous surf and rip currents" along southeastern United States beaches over the next several days. The Outer Banks and Coastal North Carolina, with far Southeastern Virginia included, are the only areas within the forecast cone of Maria, at the very far edge. Another off the North Carolina coast recorded 10-foot waves. So we will keep a close watch on Maria.

After that, the storm will move NE quickly away from shore through the day Thursday. Hurricane Katia was a short-lived storm that made landfall in the middle of Mexico's Gulf Coast on September 8 as a Category 1 storm.

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Tropical systems "feel" weak spots in the atmosphere in the absence of strong steering currents, and Jose is providing a weakness between a big eastern USA area of high pressure and one out over the Atlantic. Maria is forecast to be centered between the Outer Banks of North Carolina and Bermuda by Tuesday and Wednesday. Solid swell from Maria is in the water today for many along East Coast as observed on the offshore buoy network.

The next storm we're tracking is Hurricane Maria, which moved through the Caribbean last week.

Maria is not now forecast to impact metro Atlanta.

Meanwhile, another named storm has formed in the Atlantic. Wind shear (faster winds aloft) will overspread the region and the storm will be moving into an area of cooler sea surface temperatures.