The tropics still remain very active with two hurricanes currently spinning in the Atlantic: Maria and Lee. TS & storm surge watches have been issued for a portion of the North Carolina coastline in anticipation of some impacts from Maria mid-week.
Maria is down to a category 2 hurricane as it moves up the East Coast of the United States hundreds of miles offshore. It will bring elevated surf and a high rip current risk to the entire East Coast during most of the new week. During the next couple days, Maria will still be far off the coast, but by Wednesday it will make its closest approach. The Outer Banks need to monitor this storm. In fact, tropical storm watches have been issued for a portion of the NC coast (see below). At this time, we think the core of Maria will remain off the coast but it will still get fairly close enough for some impacts to occur. We think showers and gusty winds that will be tropical-storm-force (39+ mph) will affect the Outer Banks on Wednesday. There is also the concern for minor storm surge due to a northerly wind that will build up the water into the southern portions of the Pamlico Sound. Beyond Wednesday, Maria is forecast to take a sharp right turn as the jet stream picks her up and takes her out to sea. By then, we can finally stop tracking Maria.
Lee has rapidly strengthened into a hurricane. If you recall, Lee used to be a tropical storm over a week ago, then it dissipated, and now the National Hurricane Center began to reissue advisories on the storm earlier this week. The good news is that Lee will not impact land as it spins and meanders over the central Atlantic. It should remain a hurricane through at least Friday.
There are currently no areas to watch in the Atlantic within the next five days, besides Hurricanes Maria and Lee. Looking ahead to early October, there is the potential for a tropical system to start to develop in the western Caribbean. It’s still very early to start talking about this system, but the models have been honing in on this possible tropical entity. We’ll be tracking!
We will have another update as conditions warrant on Hurricanes Maria and Lee. Thank you for using our service and application.
-- Jackson Dill, Hurricane Tracker Team