The tropics are finally beginning to quiet down a bit as Maria gradually begins to weakens and pulls away from the United States coast. However, there is still Hurricane Lee in the Atlantic, but Lee will not impact any land.
Tropical Storm Maria:
Forecast: Maria will continue to bring some showers to the Outer Banks of North Carolina today. That rain may add up to an inch. Gusty winds will also remain present. The highest winds will be in the Cape Hatteras area with gusts as high as 50-60 mph. The third ongoing threat is storm surge with 2-4 feet of inundation forecast. Cape Hatteras did record between two and three feet of surge on Tuesday. Starting tonight, Maria will begin to slowly turn east as a trough approaching from the west picks her up. Then by Friday, she will move very quickly out to sea while moving away from land.
Lee has the potential to become the fifth major hurricane of the Atlantic season today. It is currently a 110 mph storm over the central Atlantic, and the National Hurricane Center holds it at that strength today. We still think there is the chance winds get up to 115 mph, which would make it a major hurricane. The good news is that Lee is no threat to the U.S. or any area of land. Later this week, it will get picked up by the jet stream, taking a similar fast-moving path like Maria.
There are no new areas to watch within the next five days in the Atlantic basin, but beyond that point looking ahead to early October, the models have been honing in and continue to focus on possible tropical development in the western Caribbean. The waters in this part of the ocean are so warm, containing significantly higher heat potential than during the notorious 2005 hurricane season. These warm waters are definitely concerning if a tropical cyclone forms over it because it can allow it to rapidly intensity, of course if all the other conditions are conducive, such as low wind shear. Currently, the EURO ensembles show up to a 70% chance for a tropical depression to form over the western Caribbean in about 7-9 days.
We will have another update as conditions warrant. Thank you for using our service and application.
-- Jackson Dill, Hurricane Tracker Team