The latest forecast for Hurricane Jose shows the storm picking up speed on Sunday, though it hadn’t gotten any stronger as of early Sunday morning. Tropical Storm Maria, however, strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane by Sunday afternoon.
Jose brings with it dangerous surf and rip currents expected along the East Coast, including some beach erosion in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center. Red “no swimming” flags already were flying on North Carolina beaches on Sunday, warning beachgoers of dangerous ocean conditions.
The center of Jose was expected to pass well east of the North Carolina coast on Monday and tropical storm force winds were expected to remain offshore of the Outer Banks, according to an 11 a.m. update from the Hurricane Center on Sunday.
But if Jose increases in size, or if its path adjusts west, it could bring tropical storm conditions closer to the North Carolina coast. Outer Banks residents and visitors should continue to monitor the storm.
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While the center of Jose was not expected to make landfall in North Carolina, the large cyclone could cause direct impacts from Virginia north to New England, and any westward movement of the Category 1 storm’s path could worsen those effects through this week.
Tropical Storm Maria strengthened into a hurricane on Sunday and Tropical Storm Lee continued moving slowly west, weakening into a tropical depression.
Maria was gathering strength Sunday and becoming better organized as it headed toward islands already battered by Hurricane Irma. The National Hurricane Center expects Maria to intensify into a major Category 3 storm with sustained winds as strong as 125 mph over the next three days.
It’s too soon to tell how or even if Maria or Lee will affect North Carolina or other parts of the coast of the United States, though early models show Maria moving through Florida and up the East Coast. Forecasts this far in advance can be hundreds of miles off, though.
Miami Herald staff writer Jenny Staletovich contributed to this report.