Hurricane Maria to weaken to tropical storm on Tuesday: NHC

Maria is the only tropical storm left in the Atlantic on Saturday morning. Lee has been ruled post-tropical by the National Hurricane Center. Two other tropical waves have lowered chances for development as of Saturday

The National Hurricane Center said Saturday that Tropical Storm Lee is inching slowly north and northwest over the Atlantic Ocean and could near hurricane strength as early as next week.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for north of Duck to the North Carolina/Virginia border and north of Surf City to south of Cape Lookout. Officials ordered visitors to leave both Ocracoke and Hatteras islands ahead of the storm.

The storm hit Dominica, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos, a British overseas territory.

The Dare County Department of Emergency Management made the announcement in a release on Monday morning, ahead of Hurricane Maria's offshore arrival.

Maria will probably be a tropical storm by then with top winds of less than 75 miles per hour.

While it is too soon to forecast exactly what will come of this, if anything, and where it will go, it simply bears watching over the next few days.

According to The Weather Channel, it's now located more than 500 miles south-southeast of Hatteras, North Carolina, moving north at about 9 mph.

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As Maria makes its way north, residents of Puerto Rico are beginning to assess the full extent of the storm's destruction.

Maria is a Category 3 storm and is expected to stay well off the East Coast, but the system is generating swells along the southeastern coast.

It has maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour with hurricane force gusts of 86 miles per hour.

Maria is predicted to erode more than half the dunes along North Carolina's 300-mile (485-kilometer) coast.

"On the forecast track, the center of Maria will pass east of the coast of North Carolina during the next day or so", the advisory said. Lee poses no threat to North America and new tropical storm formation is not expected anywhere in the Atlantic Basin through Thursday.

Lee is expected to begin to weaken on Thursday.

Currently Hurricanes Lee and Maria are in the Atlantic to the east of Canada.

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