GREENSBORO, N.C. (WFMY) -- Maria is headed north, and while it is likely to stay offshore, it will get too close for comfort for the North Carolina coast. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for portions of the NC Coast. The timeframe of most concern is Tuesday night through very early Thursday morning.
Here's the latest on the storm. As of Sunday evening, the storm remained a hurricane with 105 mph winds. It's moving to the North at 9 mph.
This northward motion will send Maria nearly due north for the next few days. The center is likely to stay off of the North Carolina coast, but just how close the storm is to our beaches will determine the extent of impacts on land here in North Carolina from the storm. The main area of concern is along the Outer Banks.
What is certain is that rip currents and high surf along the coast will be an issue for the next several days. High Surf Advisories and Rip Current Advisories are posted along the outer banks. A Tropical Storm Watch is posted for the open waters along the coast. The main timeframe for the chance of gusty winds and rain along the Outer Banks will be Tuesday night through very early Thursday morning. During this timeframe, 35-45 mph sustained wind, 1-3" of rain, and 2-4 feet of storm surge will be possible along portions of the coast.
After that, the storm will move NE quickly away from shore through the day Thursday.
While the North Carolina coast will see some impacts, the Piedmont will NOT see any direct impacts from the storm.
We'll keep you updated on Hurricane Maria as we head through the next several days.
Since it's hurricane season it's a good idea to make sure you have a hurricane kit together and a hurricane plan in place, just in case. Even though we don't have to deal with Maria here in the Triad, it's good to be prepared for the rest of this hurricane season, and for future seasons to come.