Forecast models have responded by shifting Maria's track to the west "and several of the global models are now calling for Maria to come close enough to the U.S. East Coast to cause direct impacts before the system recurves", the hurricane center said. The Outer Banks could see some strong winds from the outer bands of the storm by midweek.
"Swells generated by Maria are increasing along portions of the southeastern United States coast and Bermuda and will be increasing along the Mid-Atlantic coast later today", the center said Sunday, warning that such swells can cause "life-threatening surf and rip currents".
For the time being, the waters off the Southeast coast will continue to be rough, with 6-9 foot waves located just offshore. "The shaded area around its path corresponds to about a 60 to 70 percent chance that the location of the storm center remains within that "fan", so there remains a slight chance for landfall over eastern N.C". The hurricane's maximum sustained winds are at 115 miles per hour.
The storm has been slowing down over the past day or so, beyond this weekend is where Maria's forecast track gets tricky. Temperatures could still reach 80 degrees on Thursday, but Friday will be much cooler with highs in the lower 70s.
Having closer proximity to an Outer Banks hit or graze, I'd imagine onshore winds would be a little stronger with a better chance for outer-fringe rain bands to make it over land. It is 400 miles south east of Myrtle Beach, continuing to move north at 8 mph.
Days after Hurricane Maria pounded the island of Puerto Rico, killing at least 10 people, authorities are starting to see firsthand the scope of devastation that left the USA territory off the grid.
Millions of people in the Caribbean are still reeling from Hurricane Maria's devastation.
It is expected to maintain hurricane strength for at least the next five days.
Expect rip currents and heavy surf for most of the week.
The watch, which means tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours, includes the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds and encompasses Dare, Currituck, Camden, Hyde and Pasquotank counties.
The ocean temperatures "match up well with what is typically observed when the end of the Atlantic hurricane season is active", Klotzbach said in a tweet last week.