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Maria likely to become tropical storm Tuesday night or Wednesday: NHC
03 October 2017, 12:42 | Tara Lloyd
High Surf Advisory
Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School tweeted: "Hurricane Maria has a giant wind field, and it's lashing the Outer Banks with strong gusts". Residents shared the sentiment that this isn't something they're really scared of, but Keith Jones, who just moved to the island, says while not anxious about the storm, he is prepared.
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As of the 7 p.m. CDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the eye of Hurricane Maria was located about 375 miles east-southeast of Nassau in the Bahamas and was moving north-northwest at 9 mph.
Forecasters said that weather systems like Maria often head north out of the tropics, but when hurricanes lose connection with warmer tropical waters they lose their source of energy and weaken rapidly as a result. That should shunt it to the north over the next few days.
Storm surge flooding is a strong possibility, especially along the Outer Banks as Maria's slow movement will result in several hours of onshore flow.
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Maria's maximum sustained winds Tuesday reached near 75 miles per hour.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for a swath of the North Carolina coast from Bogue Inlet to the Virginia border.
Heavy, flooding rain will also be possible in those areas, with 8-16 inches possible in the Turks and Caicos and 4-8 inches in the Dominican Republic.
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Waves churned up by Maria are also expected to reach the southeast coast of the US mainland today, forecasters said. Wave heights along the shore will increase during the next few days, creating risky surf and increased chances of rip currents.
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