What the Carolinas can expect as Hurricane Maria heads towards the U.S.

First Warn Storm Team forecaster Larry Sprinkle has the latest on Hurricane Maria after the storm made landfall in Puerto Rico.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After causing widespread devastation, Hurricane Maria tracked away from Puerto Rico as well as the Dominican Republic and towards Turks and Caicos Thursday morning

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, the Category 3 hurricane was 220 miles to the southeast of Grand Turk Island with sustained winds of 115 mph, with gusts up to 140 mph, as it moved to the northwest at about nine mph. 

Hurricane Maria made landfall early Wednesday morning in Puerto Rico and moved northwest across the island at 12 mph. Heavy rainfall continued Thursday causing flooding issues in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

On the forecast track, the eye of Hurricane Maria will continue to pass offshore of the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic Thursday. Maria should then move near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas Thursday evening and Friday.

The latest storm models from the National Hurricane Center show Hurricane Maria continuing to move northwest and then making a small turn east.

As of Thursday, Maria's track shows the most impact on the Carolina coast early Tuesday morning around 2 a.m. as a Category 1 hurricane.

"Notice the cone takes it pretty close on the western side towards the Outer Banks, but if you go to the eastern side (of the cone) it's much farther out in the Atlantic ocean, more towards Bermuda," Forecaster Larry Sprinkle said. "Most of the computer models show it taking a turn away from the east coast."

While a couple models show Maria making a turn towards towards the Carolina coastline, Sprinkle says the more positive outlook is it turning away. 

Meanwhile, Jose remains a tropical storm with 60 mph in the Atlantic as it whipped up dangerous surf and rip currents along the U.S. East Coast. As of Thursday morning, Jose was 150 miles southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Stay with WCNC.com as we continue to track Maria and bring you the latest forecast.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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