With Hurricane Maria churning through the tropical Atlantic, many residents of the U.S. east coast are wondering if we can expect any impacts from this storm closer to home.
Is it any surprise that after Harvey, Irma and Maria, meteorologists might want to revisit their earlier rosy forecasts of the Atlantic hurricane season? A tropical storm watch also was in effect for other areas.
Winds have picked up along the Outer Banks as Tropical Storm Maria is passing along the coast.
Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School tweeted: "Hurricane Maria has a giant wind field, and it's lashing the Outer Banks with strong gusts".
Tropical storm watches have been issued for all of the eastern North Carolina coastal waters, sounds and inland rivers.
While Maria's most punishing hurricane-force winds remained offshore, tropical storm-force winds extended for as much as 230 miles from the center, churning up the surf on both sides of the islands.
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.
Reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour with higher gusts. The National Hurricane Center expects Lee to weaken quickly and its remnants to bring gusty winds to Ireland and the United Kingdom over the weekend of September 30 and October 1.
The forecast flooding forced more than 10,000 visitors to leave their beach vacations on the North Carolina barrier islands of Hatteras and Ocracoke. Ahead of Maria, Hurricane Lee is well east of Bermuda and down to 80kt winds.
The Category 1 storm continues to weaken and became less organized as it moves into waters cooled by Tropical Storm Jose.
Luckily, a cold front in the United States is expected to push Maria out to sea during the second half of the week, limiting the storm's impact on the rest of the east coast.
Since Harvey formed in the Gulf of Mexico on August 24, forecasters have been watching the Atlantic for likely threats to the United States or the Caribbean islands.