April 26, 2018

Hurricane Maria to bring large waves, life-threatening rip currents to Jersey

26 September 2017, 12:28 | Simon Arnold

The hurricane center on Sunday afternoon issued a tropical storm watch for the coast of North Carolina from Surf City north to the Virginia border, including the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

While Hurricane Maria isn't expected to have a direct impact on SC, it still could cause unsafe rip currents here, and maybe a bit more to the north of our state. Those on the Carolina and mid-Atlantic coasts are warned to monitor the storm's progress. Jose is a large system, and swells are affecting Bermuda and much of the US east coast.

Update, 11 p.m.: Hurricane Maria continues its way north up the Atlantic Ocean as a strong Category 3 hurricane Friday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The National Hurricane Center said Sunday evening that the tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area beginning Tuesday.

Maximum wind gusts from 39mph up to 95mph arriving in Britain can be seen on a dramatic map showing Maria's forecast track towards the UK.

Hurricane Maria will likely track just east of the Carolinas through early next week. exploiting the same break in a mid-level high pressure ridge that Jose once did.

So we will track a cold front moving in late in the day Wednesday along with a big dip in the jet stream starting to build down from the northwest as well. Maria will continue to move slowly toward the north over the next few days, making a close pass to the North Carolina and the Mid-Atlantic coasts early this week.

Having closer proximity to an Outer Banks hit or graze, I'd imagine onshore winds would be a little stronger with a better chance for outer-fringe rain bands to make it over land.

Expect unseasonably warm days - 80s highs in the Roanoke Valley and points south and east, mid 70s to near 80 in the New River Valley and points west - through the next week, with lows mostly in the 60s.

A record three Category 4 hurricanes have hit the USA since Harvey came ashore in Texas on August 25, causing an estimated $170 billion damage, according to Enki Research in Savannah, Georgia. Maria is going to push that ranking even higher and we should be reaching at least the number eight spot all time if the intensity forecast over the next 36-48hrs holds true.

Meanwhile, off the coast of Nantucket, Jose has transitioned into a post-tropical storm with 50 miles per hour winds. A moderate-to-high rip current threat is also expected at area beaches. It is the eighth hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

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