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Tropical Storm Maria could pose a threat to North Carolina in the next 10 days or so. This storm is the fourteenth tropical system of the season. It has been brewing in the Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane, gaining more strength as she moves through warm waters.
Maria will become a Category 3 storm as she travels past Puerto Rico. She is expected to lose a bit of steam as she approaches the island of Hispaniola — which comprises both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. From there, the GFS and Euro models have spit out a variety of possibilities for Maria. Some of the runs have shown Maria heading toward Florida while others take her to North Carolina. Of course, there are also some models that show her going out to sea. Maria is too far away from the United States for any kind of guarantee. As we saw with Hurricane Irma, anything can happen — even within hours of a storm making landfall.
Local meteorologists are watching Maria very closely. Check out the latest GFS and Euro models below. As you can see, there are quite a few instances in which Maria makes landfall in North Carolina.
As for a timeline, any impacts on North Carolina will be at least 10 days out. As of Saturday night, Maria was approximately 600 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles, according to The Weather Channel. She is moving west at around 15 to 20 mph.
“Tropical Storm Maria is expected to move in a more west-northwestward direction over the next few days and may approach the Leeward Islands late Monday. Hurricane watches have been issued for Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Montserrat. Tropical storm watches have been posted for portions of the Lesser Antilles including, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Tropical storm conditions are possible here on Monday.”