Maria battered the overseas territory of Turks and Caicos with winds of up to 125mph on Friday, as the storm continued on its path to roll off the east coast of the US.
It could *possibly* bring some wind and rain off the east coast of North Carolina and Virginia Wednesday into Thursday, but right now - does not look to pose an extreme threat. At the top right of the image is tiny Hurricane Lee.
Forecasters think the core of the hurricane will stay offshore, but it could come close enough that parts of the coast will feel some of its effects.
Hurricane Maria may not directly impact Florida, but the indirect influence of this storm will play a large role in our weather this weekend and next week.
Additionally, a Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Cape Lookout to Duck.
First, it will ensure that Hurricane Maria gets swept out to sea, after the storm flirts with the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Swells will continue to propagate outward hundreds of miles from the hurricane.
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 miles per hour (75 kph) with higher gusts. The storm continued weakening and generated light rain. But it also will be in an area with little wind shear, which could allow intensification.
Leon Brown, head of meteorological operations at The Weather Channel, owned by The Weather Company, said: "Maria looks like being caught in the jet stream and swinging towards the United Kingdom as a deep depression". High temps in the mid/upper 80's Monday will warm at least into the upper 80' and lower 90's Wednesday.
We will continue to monitor the latest tracks and trends.
Should Maria fail to slow its forward speed during the middle of next week, then it would be an indication that steering winds are going to whisk the hurricane in a northeasterly direction, well offshore of the U.S.
Since storm records began in 1851, forecasters have run out of names only once - in 2005. But unlike the connection between hurricane intensity and the ambient environment, the linkage between global circulation change and hurricane movement is much harder to quantify at present. Steady strengthening is forecast, and there's potential for Lee to become a hurricane again.
In a statement, Gov. Roy Cooper's office said the storm's forecast track has shifted west.