The first tropical storm watches have been issued for parts of the East Coast related to the latest hurricane moving toward the Northeast.
Hurricane Maria is centered about 400 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina early Sunday evening with 105 mile-per-hour winds. It's moving north with winds of 9 miles per hour.
A Category 2 storm, Maria will trek north-northeast from the Caribbean Coast early this week.
Since Maria is a large hurricane, tropical-storm-force winds could reach a portion of the North Carolina coast in about 48 hours, the National Hurricane Center said. As a result, a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for a portion of the coast of North Carolina from Surf City northward to the North Carolina/Virginia border, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
The storm is expected to come close enough to North Carolina to trigger gusty winds and heavy rains late Tuesday through Wednesday night. The rest of the East Coast should see dangerous seas as a result of Maria this week even though current forecast projections show it taking a right turn Thursday.
The latest update from the National Weather Service shows the likely arrival time for tropical-storm force winds from Hurricane Maria in the coastal Hudson Valley to be Wednesday night. (See image above.)
Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next 24 hours, but gradual weakening is expected to begin by Monday night or Tuesday, the hurricane center said, adding that Maria is a large hurricane. As a result, hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles.
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