Sept. 25 (UPI) — The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Maria was creating “large swells” along the U.S. East Coast as it churned east of South Carolina on Monday.
The NHC’s 5 p.m. advisory said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and could become a tropical storm by late Tuesday. It was moving north at 7 mph.
The eye of the hurricane was about 280 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
“The center of Maria will move well east of the southeast coast of the United States during the next day or so,” the advisory said.
In its latest advisory, the NHC upgraded a tropical storm watch to a warning for Duck, N.C. north to the border with Virginia.
A tropical storm warning was in effect for Bogue Inlet, N.C. north to the Virginia border, and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. A storm surge watch was in effect for the North Carolina coast from Cape Lookout to Duck.
“Swells generated by Maria are increasing along portions of the southeastern United States coast and Bermuda and will be increasing along the Mid-Atlantic coast [Monday],” the NHC said.
Forecasters said swells were also continuing in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the northern
coast of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas. Forecasters said they will likely cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.