Tropical Storm Maria will stay at sea
Hurricane forecasters are predicting that Tropical Storm Maria will turn to the north, then northeast while still well out to sea. The storm is expected to pass just west of Bermuda on Thursday.
This morning, the storm was located about 300 miles east of the southeastern Bahamas, moving to the north northwest at 6 mph. A Tropical Storm Watch was posted for Bermuda.
Puerto Rico was expecting total rains of 4 to 8 inches from Maria, with isolated amounts of 15 to 20 inches at higher elevations. Life-threatening mudslides and flash floods were possible.
The storm's top sustained winds were blowing at about 50 mph. Some modest strengthening is possible in the next day or two. But southwesterly shear has been limiting development. And now the southwesterly winds out ahead of the front moving off East Coast are expected to turn the storm and accelerate its movement to the north and northeast. It is likely to lose its tropical characteristics by the weekend.
In the meantime, at the Maryland beaches, the weather service is warning of a moderate risk of rip currents. Swimmers and surfers should continue to monitor advisories as the storm moves north this week.