Hurricane Maria weakens as it moves north in Atlantic

Panovich: Outer Banks likely to see Maria's impacts

Dare County has declared a state of emergency, issuing a mandatory evacuation for all visitors south of the Bonner Bridge effective at noon Monday. Additional slow weakening will continue through Wednesday and Maria is forecast to be a strong tropical storm as it brushes the Outer Banks of North Carolina late Tuesday and Wednesday. The core of the storm is producing 110 miles per hour winds with stronger gusts, but the storm is not expected to make landfall, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Maria is passing offshore of the North Carolina Outer Banks over the next couple of days.

The forecasters said these systems have decayed to a relatively large extent by the time they enter our latitudes, but their remnants still contain air of tropical origin, which can still exert an influence on the weather in the north-east Atlantic, including the UK.

On Hatteras, Jay Wrenn and his wife packed up their auto for the five-hour drive back home to Burlington, North Carolina.

As of the NHC's 11 a.m. ET update on Monday, Maria is a large storm with hurricane-force winds extending 90 miles from its center, though mostly to the East. Maria has sustained wind speeds of around 80 mph, with some higher gusts.

A tropical storm watch was upgraded to a warning on Monday for areas from Cape Lookout to Duck, including the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds.

Tropical storm force winds nearing the Outer Banks.

"It is likely that some direct impacts will occur along portions of the coast by midweek", the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Sunday.

Although it's not now predicted to make landfall along the coast, Maria is the third hurricane to affect the U.S. in the last month. Forecasters said waves from the storm are affecting beaches from Florida through southern New England.

The TS Kennedy, a former commercial freighter used by the Maritime Administration for training, is now sailing from Texas to the Virgin Islands to support hurricane recovery efforts in the U.S. Virgin Island and Puerto Rico.

That's after the storm destroyed the island of Dominica, killing at least 15 people there.

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