JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Hurricane Maria is chugging along slowly several hundred miles off the Jacksonville coast and has weakened to a category 1 hurricane. Strong rip currents, powerful surf, and rough seas are expected to linger through early this week. Nearshore waves will range from 6-8 feet, while offshore waters will have waves up to 9-12 feet.
Maria is not expected to make landfall along the East Coast, but Tropical Storm Watches have been posted for portions of the North Carolina coast from Surf City to the NC/VA border. Tropical Storm conditions will be possible for northeastern North Carolina as early as Tuesday with Maria's tropical storm force wind field extending about 230 miles out from the center of the hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center forecast shows a quick recurve for Maria out to sea and away from the United States by the middle of this week, but not before coming too close for comfort to the NC coast.
Lee has redeveloped over the open Atlantic Ocean and is now a category 1 hurricane and is expected to become a Category 2 within the next day or so. The storm will remain over open waters and pose no threats to land.