WILMINGTON — It has been a busy hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean this year. Two major hurricanes have already made landfall in the United States and while the Cape Fear region has avoided any direct hits so far there are still several storms in the Atlantic Ocean that could impact the area.
Hurricanes Jose and Maria are currently in the Atlantic and could have an impact on the Cape Fear region.
Hurricane Maria has been upgraded to a category three hurricane as of 11 a.m. Monday. Although still a good distance away, the National Weather Service in Wilmington has issued several hazardous weather outlooks for the Cape Fear region.
Currently, Hurricane Jose is east of North Carolina and is not expected to directly impact the region, although rip current statements, as well as small craft advisories for hazardous seas are in effect for New Hanover County.
Maria is located southeast of Puerto Rico and its eye is expected to move through the Leeward Islands this afternoon or evening. Hurricane Maria could increase the swell size and cause strong rip currents this weekend, according to the NWS.
Tropical Depression Lee has also formed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with 35 mile per hour sustained winds.