Maria weakens slightly, but watches possible Sunday along NC coast

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Hurricane Maria has weakened to a Category 2 storm and continues to move north.

On Sunday afternoon it is about 500 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras.

Swells generated by Maria are increasing along portions of our coast.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents for the next several days.

The National Weather Service in Morehead City has issued a high surf advisory for all beaches south of Oregon Inlet, which is in effect from 6 a.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Monday

On the current forecast track, Maria will stay offshore but make its closest approach to the Outer Banks on Wednesday as a Category 1 Storm.

There will be a chance of tropical storm force winds along the Outer Banks on Tuesday and Wednesday; so, therefore, a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch might have to be issued later today.

Tropical storm force winds on Sunday extend out from Maria’s center up to 240 miles.

Even though the storm tracking models keep Maria’s center offshore, if the storm gets within 200 miles of the Outer Banks, tropical storm force winds can be expected.

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