Gales and rain to hit United Kingdom after Hurricane Maria

Warm until late week, Hurricane Maria stays offshore

Maria was centered about 165 miles east of Cape Hatteras and moving north-northeast at 6 mph, continuing to move away from the North Carolina coast later in the day.

Britain could face a weather double-whammy from the tail ends of Hurricane Lee and Maria this weekend. Those wind speeds would qualify it for tropical storm status if not for its high northern latitude.

"Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 miles per hour [175 km/h] with higher gusts".

The Met Office is also watching the progress of Hurricane Lee, which has moved north of the Tropic of Cancer into the North Atlantic, like Maria.

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An elevated threat of wind and storm surge remains in effect overnight, which may include another foot or so of soundside inundation north of Ocracoke.

However, they are not expected to bring severe conditions with them.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning from Cape Lookout to Duck on the Outer Banks, as well as a tropical storm watch from Surf City to Cape Lookout and from Duck to the North Carolina-Virginia state line. Maximum sustained winds were 75 miles per hour. That doesn't mean that it has fallen apart completely, only that it has moved so far north that it has lost its tropical characteristics, according to the hurricane center.

Hurricane Lee, meanwhile, strengthened to a major Category 3 hurricane in the open Atlantic, where it was swinging north and east before damaging winds could reach Bermuda.

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The forecast flooding forced more than 10,000 visitors to leave their beach vacations on the North Carolina barrier islands of Hatteras and Ocracoke. Conditions began to improve for the Mid Atlantic through the Outer Banks on Thursday with the more southerly facing breaks offering up the first real options after the past days of blustery onshores.

Thankfully, with the exception of higher than normal seas and offshore storm surge, there is no longer much impact on land rom either of these storms. Additional weakening is forecast, and Lee is expected to become a tropical storm later today.

Previous hurricane-based storms to hit Britain include August 2014's Hurricane Bertha, with 94mph gusts and floods, and September 2011's Hurricane Katia. This is why Maria is forecast to take a sharp right turn, missing the East Coast.

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