In a manner similar to Hurricane Jose, Maria will drop out of the strong upper-level winds of the jet stream, trapping the storm and preventing its escape out to sea for several days.
Assuming Maria continues heading north at 15km/h, it will pass within 150 to 250km of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
The National Hurricane Center said Maria, a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 miles per hour, will continue to track northward parallel to the coast before making a turn away from land and to the east. Still, a tropical storm warning was in effect for the North Carolina coast from Bogue Inlet to the Virginia border, and meteorologists predicted a storm surge for Ocracoke Inlet to Cape Hatteras.
Officials in North Carolina estimate more than 10,000 people have left the Outer Banks as Hurricane Maria moves closer.
Hurricane Maria will come close enough to North Carolina to trigger gusty winds and rain, while unleashing unsafe seas elsewhere along the East Coast this week, AccuWeather reports.
As of the last advisory from the hurricane center, at 4 p.m. CDT Sunday, Hurricane Maria was located about 425 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and was moving north at 9 mph.
Maria has finally become just a tropical storm.
Maria’s economic cost to Puerto Rico could increase if the islands sees an exodus of residents fearful that water and power could be out for months, said Chuck Watson, of Enki Research.
Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says Sotomayor’s relatives are doing OK as the USA territory struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria.
Some fluctuations in intensity will be possible over the next day, forecasters said.
However, tropical storm force winds extend outward over 200 miles from the center which means tropical storm conditions will likely affect the Outer Banks and adjacent coastal areas from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Cape Lookout north to Duck, as well as for Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
Across the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, tropical storms have killed at least 100.
Maria’s forward progress will slow significantly as a result, and the storm may even stall for a time near the coast.
A storm surge of 2 feet (0.6 meters) to 4 feet (1 meter) is possible on Ocracoke with up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain possible through Wednesday.
In North Carolina, Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson said officials believe 10,000 to 12,500 people were leaving Hatteras, while about 500 year-round residents could stay. There will be a period of moderate coastal flooding and significant beach erosion along the Outer Banks and southeastern Virginia coast.