Track of Cat 3 Maria shifts closer to USA coast

Track of Cat 3 Maria shifts closer to USA coast

Hurricane Maria may create "dangerous surf and rip currents" in the Southeastern United States, the National Hurricane Center said. A veil of high clouds from Tropical Storm Jose was responsible for the handsome color in the evening sky. It's the culmination of a week's worth of unseasonably warm temperatures, as highs have soared past 80 degrees for seven of the last eight days.

Since battering the Turks and Caicos Islands yesterday, Maria has moved away from land, and there are no coastal warnings or watches in effect as of the hurricane center's 8 a.m. update, though residents of the Bahamas are advised to keep an eye on the storm.

Puerto Rican officials could not communicate with more than half the towns in the USA territory as they rushed to evacuate tens of thousands of people downstream of a failing dam. Winds will be northeast around 5 miles per hour. Temperatures will reach the low and middle 80s Saturday and Sunday will be evening warmer with highs 85-90!

A new front moving in after Thursday, though, could kick Maria quickly out to sea.

While the cone of uncertainty presently interacts with the northern part of the North Carolina coast as well as the Virginia and Maryland coasts, the storm poses no direct threat to SC, though it is already producing coastal effects that are being felt throughout the area, including a high rip current risk, large waves, choppy surf and higher tides. We are forecasting partly to mostly sunny skies for both Saturday and Sunday and that means it will be a nice weekend for outdoor activities, including the Durham Fair which began today.

Patchy morning fog; otherwise, sunshine and very warm with low humidity. The high will be 86, after a morning low of 65. More than 15 inches (nearly 40 centimeters) of rain fell on the surrounding mountains after the Category 4 Maria left the island Wednesday afternoon. Temperatures will slowly fall from the 80s into the 70s. So even if the center of the storm passes offshore, it could still bring blustery weather to the Outer Banks by mid-week. It was not produced by a computer like many forecasts you find on the web, social media and smarts phone apps.