Will Maria hit the East Coast directly?

While Maria still has the potential to wander close to the United States, the core of the hurricane is most likely to remain offshore through next week. Maria already turned on a more northerly course near the Turks and Caicos on Friday. From its position on Friday morning, Maria was about 650 miles southeast of Miami and was on the same parallel as Cape Cod, Massachusetts, or approximately 70 degrees west longitude.

While this could be good news for the east coast, the eastern seaboard may not be so lucky. Steering winds may weaken enough to slow the forward speed of Maria. It is during this time when Maria may attempt to drift farther west and may cause some rain and gusty winds to reach the North Carolina Outer Banks. Should Maria fail to slow its forward speed during the middle of next week, then it would be an indication that steering winds are going to whisk the hurricane in a northeasterly direction, well offshore of the U.S.

Summer-like temperatures will remain as the high-pressure system remains intact in the Northeast, but that could change next week if Maria should fail to slow her forward speed. A non-tropical storm will bring showers and thunderstorms to the mid-Atlantic and New England later next week. This storm system will mark an end to the August-like conditions and bring much cooler and less humid air to the region.

If this non-tropical storm is slow to reach the Eastern states would the hurricane have a greater chance of being pulled into the mid-Atlantic states or New England. If Maria takes the most likely path just offshore of the U.S., seas, surf and rip currents will increase from south to north along the Atlantic Seaboard this weekend through next week.

*Image credit: Accuweather


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