Mainland Dare and Hyde counties eastward through the Outer Banks are now in the western part of the forecast cone, but 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 probable.
Hurricane Maria is forecast to lift north and be near or off the North Carolina coast by midweek, and tropical storm force winds could arrive in the area by early Monday morning.
As of 5 a.m. on Saturday, Maria was located 165 miles ENE of San Salvador with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. Maria is moving toward the north-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight.
A turn toward the north is expected on Sunday, and Maria is forecast to move away from the Bahamas and into the open waters of the western Atlantic today.
Visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather forecast information covering Eastern NC, and visit the National Hurricane Center at www.nhc.noaa.gov 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.