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Tropical storm watch issued for coast of North Carolina

Tropical storm watch issued for coast of North Carolina

While Maria, now a Category 1 hurricane, is forecast to slowly move away from the North Carolina coast later Wednesday, tropical storm conditions are expected to continue along portions of it through Wednesday afternoon, Impact said, with associated flooding and storm surge.

That's for the forecasts from NOAA, as the Daily Express cites other models that predict Maria and Lee merging to form what the report describes as a "Monster superstorm" that could hit Britain by the weekend. Maria's winds are much weaker than Lee, but it's a huge storm.

In the Outer Banks, coastal wind gusts could be as high as 60 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service in Morehead City, North Carolina, said rip currents were possible in the ocean for the rest of the week.

A disturbance over the Florida Peninsula that has been moving north over the last few days has seen its chances of becoming a tropical cyclone reduced in the National Hurricane Center's 8 a.m. update, but it is still causing coastal effects in the Lowcountry.

But by early next week, shearing winds are expected to make conditions unfavorable.

The center said in its 5 a.m. Sunday advisory that the storm appeared to have slightly weakened, but it retained maximum sustained winds near 110 miles per hour with higher gusts.

As Maria moves north along the East Coast, Maryland's shores are affected. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 165 km from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend 390 km from its centre.

Officials estimate more than 10,000 people have left the Outer Banks as Maria moves closer.

It is gradually strengthening far off in the open Atlantic, where it was expected to swing north and east again before tropical storm-force winds reach Bermuda.

“This steering pattern is forecast to persist, and Maria is anticipated to continue on this track with an increase in forward speed until dissipation.”.

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.

Tropical Storm Lee is far away from land over the central Atlantic and has become a post-tropical low.

Maria is expected decrease in strength over the night and turn north on Wednesday, with a turn to the northeast predicted for Thursday.