Track of Cat 3 Maria shifts closer to U.S. coast

Track of Cat 3 Maria shifts closer to U.S. coast”

It is now a few hundreds miles east of the island of Nassau and the US National Hurricane Centre is warning people in the Bahamas and along the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic coasts to keep monitoring the situation. "A gradual weakening trend is expected to begin late Sunday or Monday".

Maria may bring hurricane conditions to the eastern-most portions of the Turks and Caicos and the Southeastern Bahamian Islands overnight with the possibility of some tropical storm conditions to the portions of the Central Bahamas.Hurricane Warnings were in effect for the Turks and Caicos and Southeastern Bahamas while Tropical Storm Watches were posted for the Central Bahamas as of late Thursday evening. On the forecast track, Maria will move away from the Bahamas into the open waters of the western Atlantic today.

Maria's winds were 115 miles per hour, making it a category 3 storm, and it was moving north-northwest at 9 miles per hour, the Hurricane Center said. It was moving northwest at 8 miles per hour.

Previous story: Hurricane Maria has recharged after its strafing of Puerto Rico, building back to a 125-mph Category 3 hurricane as it hits the Turks and Caicos with hurricane-force winds. Tonight's lows will be cooler in the mountains in the upper 50s after a few pop-up thunderstorms Saturday afternoon, which will help things cool down more up there.

Swells from the storm, likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents, are expected increase along the southeastern United States coast Saturday, the National Hurricane Center reported.

A second, and much less likely scenario, is that Maria moves much farther west over North Carolina than now suggested and the storm races northeast and impacts us with some wind and rain (as a much weakened storm). Another blocking ridge of high pressure in the Atlantic will, at least initially, prevent the hurricane from rocketing into the North Atlantic.

What's left over from Tropical Storm Jose and its remnant may also be a factor in Maria's future path.

Jose is almost stationary and little motion is expected over the next two days.

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