Hurricane Maria may be coming for North Carolina and Virginia

According to the National Hurricane Center's 11 p.m. update, Maria is a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and is about 595 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

The WATE 6 Storm Team says Hurricane Maria has max sustained winds of 120 miles per hour and its making its was north of Turks and Caicos.

Regardless of the exact track, Maria should track closely enough for tropical storm force conditions to impact the outer banks by early next week.

The National Hurricane Center urged the Carolinas to monitor Hurricane Maria, now a Category 2 storm, as it paralleled the East Coast Sunday.

It is now expected to pass north of Scotland next Monday or Tuesday.

Panovich says by the time it reaches the Outer Banks, Maria should either be a weak hurricane or a strong tropical storm. However, the biggest impacts for the possibly affected areas is heavy rain and wind gusts of over 60 miles per hour.

However, swells formed by Maria have increased along portions of the southeastern United States Coast and Bermuda. There will be a chance of tropical storm force winds along the Outer Banks on Tuesday and Wednesday; so therefore a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch might have to be issued later today.

As of writing on Sunday, Sept. 24, there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Maria was moving away from the Turks and Caicos Islands late Friday afternoon and was staying generally east of the Bahamas.

Even if the center of Maria remains offshore, impacts such as rough surf, a high risk for rip currents, beach erosion, and ocean overwash are still probable.

Officials are still assessing the heart-breaking damage that Maria wreaked on Puerto Rico last week, where at least 10 people died as a direct result of the hurricane.

That's after the storm destroyed the island of Dominica, killing at least 15 people there.

  • Joey Payne