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Hurricane Maria weakens on northern track; Lee tiny but strengthening

Hurricane Maria weakens on northern track; Lee tiny but strengtheningā€

Hurricane Maria is now a category 3 storm and is expected to cause unsafe surf and rip currents at southeastern United States beaches for the next several days, according to the National Weather Service.

Maria is moving toward the northwest near 9 miles per hour. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles.

The center said that parts along the Carolina and Mid-Atlantic Coasts "should monitor the progress of Maria", and that hurricane watches may be need to be issued for portions of the coast later today.

With the current forecast, wind direction should be NNE and moving to NNW late Tuesday into early Thursday.

Tropical Storm Lee has strengthened into a category 1 hurricane in the eastern Atlantic.

Hurricane Lee, meanwhile, was strengthening, with maximum sustained winds up to 90 miles per hour.

Swells generated as a result of the storm are increasing in parts of the southeastern coast, making for "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the center said.

"The impacts don't change much but we're not looking at the Category 3 storm that we have right now", Panovich said.

It is now about 900 miles east of Bermuda, moving north at 6 mph.

As Hurricane Maria continues moving northward, it's expected to gradually weaken.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

While the cone of uncertainty presently interacts with the northern part of the North Carolina coast as well as the Virginia and Maryland coasts, the storm poses no direct threat to SC, though it is already producing coastal effects that are being felt throughout the area, including a high rip current risk, large waves, choppy surf and higher tides.

A MASSIVE dam in Puerto Rico has burst prompting a mass evacuation and unleashing more devastation in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

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



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