Sept. 26 (UPI) — Hurricane Maria will weaken to a tropical storm as it creates “large swells” affecting the East Coast, the National Hurricane Center said.
The NHC’s 5 a.m. advisory, said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and could become a tropical storm by late Tuesday or Wednesday. It was moving north at 7 mph.
The eye of the hurricane was about 210 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. Maria remains a large hurricane but is expected to weaken.
“On the forecast track, the center of Maria will pass east of the coast of North Carolina during the next couple of days,” the advisory said.
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.
“Large swells generated by Maria are affecting much of the east coast of the United States from Florida through southern New England,” the NHC said.
Forecasters said swells were also continuing in Bermuda, 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.