TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Hurricanes Maria and Lee are still the only areas of interest in the tropics at this time.
Hurricane Maria is now a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 105 mph. Currently, Maria is about 430 miles south southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. This storm is continuing to move northward at 9 mph.
Fluctuation in intensity is possible through Monday night as Maria is expected to move over warm waters with low wind shear. It is expected that this hurricane will begin gradually weakening by mid week as it moves into an area of cooler waters. Maria is will remain a large storm through the week. This means that even though this storm is forecast to remain offshore, North Carolina may feel stronger winds, dangerous surf, and possible storm surge beginning Tuesday.
Hurricane Lee, a category 1 storm, is still sitting in the open Atlantic Ocean, about 900 miles east of Bermuda. Winds are sustained at 90 mph with stronger gusts. Over the next several days, Lee is expected to remain hurricane due to the lack of vertical shear and the presence of warm waters.
The current forecast cone shows this storm continuing to circle around itself during this week, with a weakening trend expected by Thursday or Friday. This will happen as Hurricane Lee moves into an area of drier air, stronger wind shear, and cooler waters.