Maria risk to Outer Banks grows; still warm & dry for SW Va

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There were no storm warnings or watches in effect, but the NHC cautioned observers in the Bahamas and Carolina and mid-Atlantic U.S. coasts to monitor the storm. We will see increased easterly swells and high rip currents at the beaches this weekend and into Monday.

The projected path of Hurricane Maria at 8 p.m. on Frirday, September 22.

But now the question has become how close will Maria be when it makes that pass?

The storm has been slowing down over the past day or so, beyond this weekend is where Maria's forecast track gets tricky. Typically, we would expect a hurricane passing over or near Cape Hatteras to swirl down cooler air with its counterclockwise flow, but in this case, the warm high pressure is building north and northwest of us, so the source of cooler air in Canada is cut off.

The National Hurricane Center forecast cone that we show on WECT products is the official and best resource for storm intensity and track information.

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.

There's also another named storm in the Atlantic, far to the east of Maria.

First Warn Storm Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich says the hurricane's shift will mean the Outer Banks will be under a greater threat for "some tropical storm force conditions".

The third storm lurking out in the Atlantic is Tropical Storm Lee, which formed on Saturday (16 September), however it is unlikely to threaten any land as it spins nearly 800 miles southwest of Cape Verde and will likely weaken and fade away.

The storm is now inching towards these regions, with Maria already lashing the small archipelago of the Turks and Caicos, with winds of over 200km/h.

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