Hurricane Lee remnants to usher in heavy rain and gales

Unlike August and September, when we watch for tropical waves rolling off Africa, the month of October often favors more "homegrown" activity in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

Although Maria was downgraded to a tropical storm, beach erosion could pose a significant problem for North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia.

No injuries have been reported on the USA mainland with Maria, which mainly lashed North Carolina's fragile Outer Banks with high water and waves pounding the fragile islands from both sides, washing over the only highway connecting Hatteras Island to the mainland.

The hurricane center said conditions had become unfavorable for anything to develop there and said there was no chance of anything getting organized in the next few days.

The Met Office said the potential effects of Maria on the United Kingdom will be "very different from those experienced in the Caribbean", but said people can expect wind and rain in many areas later this weekend and into next week. The greatest impact will be felt along the North Carolina coast. Maximum wind speeds were at 70 miles per hour as the storm moved north at 5 miles per hour.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The National Hurricane Center's official forecast cone has Maria passing off the coast of the Carolinas early to mid-week. Maria is also expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 1-2 inches over the Outer Banks through Wednesday.

Hyde County and Dare County issued mandatory visitor evacuation orders for Ocracoke Island and Hatteras Island on Monday and the final ferries were scheduled to depart from the islands at 11 p.m. Monday. "On the forecast track, Maria will move away from the coast of North Carolina through Thursday".

However, tropical storm force winds extend outward over 200 miles from the center which means tropical storm conditions will likely affect the Outer Banks and adjacent coastal areas from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon.

For the first time in 10 days, Maria weakened briefly to a tropical storm on Wednesday morning. Lee still spins in the Atlantic, while Maria moves unsafe close, flirting with collision.

Large swells generated by Maria are affecting most of the East Coast of the U.S. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.