As of the last advisory from the hurricane center, at 4 a.m. CDT Saturday, Tropical Storm Maria was located about 505 miles south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, and was moving to the east-northeast at 32 mph.
Map forecast for Hurricane Lee via National Hurricane Center.
That left locals to watch another storm chew up their beaches. Those wind speeds would qualify it for tropical storm status if not for its high northern latitude.
Assuming Maria continues heading north at 15km/h, it will pass within 150 to 250km of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Meteorologists are now watching the progress of hurricanes Lee and Maria as they take curved tracks across the North Atlantic.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to about 70 mph, and tropical storm force winds extend up to 240 miles from the storm's center, forecasters said. This area of low pressure will produce very heavy rain and flooding across a large area of Central America.
But as of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Maria regenerated into a Category 1 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. The greatest impact will be felt along the North Carolina coast.
Hurricane Maria has no potential for landfall in the next 24 hours and a low potential to inflict significant insured loss, according to the Wednesday morning catastrophe alert from the Impact Forecasting unit of Aon Benfield. Officials issued mandatory evacuation orders Monday for visitors on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. Lee still spins in the Atlantic, while Maria moves unsafe close, flirting with collision.
Maria was briefly downgraded to a tropical storm on Tuesday, before restrengthening into a Category One hurricane earlier today (Wednesday September 27).
Officials expected conditions to improve quickly Thursday on the Outer Banks, so schools could reopen, sand could be removed from roads and the ferries that provide access to Ocracoke Island can begin running again.
Forecasters say a turn toward the north-northeast is expected on Wednesday, and a turn toward the east-northeast is anticipated on Thursday.
Luckily, a cold front in the United States is expected to push Maria out to sea during the second half of the week, limiting the storm's impact on the rest of the east coast.