September 24, 2017

Slow-Moving Maria May Cause Lingering
Tropical Storm Conditions This Week

Maria is expected to move very slowly up the coastline mid-week, which may cause extended impacts and tropical storm conditions for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, per the 8 a.m. briefing from the National Weather Service Newport / Morehead City Office.

Depending on how close Maria ends up being to the coast, the slow movement and long duration may enhance impacts significantly to the Outer Banks, and probabilities for tropical storm force winds have increased slightly across the area since Saturday’s briefing.

Even if the center of Maria remains offshore, impacts such as rough surf, a high risk for rip currents, beach erosion, and ocean overwash are still probable.  

With the current forecast, wind direction should be NNE and moving to NNW late Tuesday into early Thursday. The rain forecast from Maria is currently 1-3 inches, and moderate ocean overwash in vulnerable areas is probable with the potential for 1-3 feet of inundation above ground from coastal flooding. 

Dare and Hyde Counties currently have the potential for tropical storms force winds with gusts up to 50 mph starting on Monday, and the coastline will also see continued dangerous ocean conditions throughout the week.

The National Weather Service indicates that Maria will likely cause mostly minor impacts, but a slight change in track can lead to completely different conditions. As such, everyone should prepare for these impacts while they continue to monitor Maria, according to Dare County Emergency Management.

As of 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, Maria was located 475 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras and was moving north at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. There are currently no coastal watches or warnings in effect, however these may be issued for a portion of the coast later today.

Visit for weather forecast information covering Eastern NC, and visit the National Hurricane Center at for information on the tropics.

The Island Free Press will continue to monitor this system and will post updates as soon as they are available.

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