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Hurricanes Lee, Maria continue in Atlantic

27 Septembre 2017

The National Hurricane Center said the large but lopsided storm would begin to move away from the U.S. East Coast on Wednesday while still bringing some tropical storm conditions to the North Carolina Coast. The eastern edge of Tropical Storm Maria's cirrus canopy can be seen on the left.

Maria is a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour.

Maria had winds of 70 miles per hour, but those were mostly confined to areas east of the center.

Forecasters said that weather systems such as Maria often head north out of the tropics, but when hurricanes lose connection with warmer tropical waters they lose their source of energy and weaken rapidly as a result.

Met Office forecaster Emma Sharples said: "There will be some patchy rain as the low cloud clears the east coast tomorrow and we will see a murky start to the day".

And there will still be the possibility of storm surge, which could reach as high as 2-4 feet along the sound side of the Outer Banks. NOAA buoy 41025 located about 15 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras recently reported a sustained wind of 40 mph [65 km/h] with a gust to 52 mph [83 km/h]. Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast August 26, Hurricane Jose swept near the Caribbean Sept. 9, Hurricane Irma walloped the Caribbean and Florida Sept. 10 and Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean Sep. 20.

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Far to the east of Maria on Wednesday is Hurricane Lee, which could become a major hurricane today but is no threat to land.

At 480 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, Lee is no threat to land, but notable for forming September 14, dissipating, and then reforming Friday.

Hurricane Lee's arrival marked the fifth hurricane of Category 3 or above in the Atlantic this season.

Lee became the 11th named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season on September 16 but dropped into a depression, and then a low. Lee is not now near land and is expected to remain in open water.

The Atlantic hurricane season ends on November 30.

The BWS 6pm update said the storm was expected to make its closest point of approach in the next 72 hours at around midnight on Thursday night, as it passes 296 nautical miles to the islands north-northwest — but the storm could veer closer after that period.