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Strong Winds From Hurricane Maria Beginning To Reach North Carolina

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm force winds from Hurricane Maria are beginning to near the outer banks of North Carolina.

At 5 p.m. Maria was located about 160 miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Maria is moving toward the north near 7 mph and this general motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected through tonight.

A turn toward the north-northeast is expected on Wednesday, and a turn toward the east-northeast is anticipated on Thursday.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Ocracoke Inlet to Cape Hatteras

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Bogue Inlet to the North Carolina/Virginia border
* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Cape Lookout to west of Ocracoke Inlet
* North of Cape Hatteras to Duck

On the forecast track, the center of Maria will pass east of the coast of North Carolina during the next day or so.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 70 mph with higher gusts.  Some slight weakening is forecast during the next day or two.

Maria is a large tropical storm. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles from the center.  NOAA buoy 41025 located about 15 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras recently reported a sustained wind of 40 mph with a gust to 52 mph.  A wind gust to 41 mph was recently reported at Manteo, North Carolina.

The latest minimum central pressure reported by a NOAA reconnaissance aircraft is 974 mb.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning through Wednesday.

STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water is expected to reach the following heights above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide…

Cape Lookout to Duck including the sound side of the Outer Banks…2 to 4 ft

Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.  For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.

RAINFALL:  Maria is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 2 inches over the Outer Banks of North Carolina through Wednesday.

SURF:  Large swells generated by Maria are affecting much of the east coast of the United States.  These swells are also affecting Bermuda, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.  Please consult products from your local weather office for more information.

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