North Carolina entered the path of Hurricane Elsa as of Friday night, the first hurricane of the season.
The 11 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center showed the storm was 730 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.
“The storm has weakened slightly — with the forward momentum — it will be difficult to maintain its integrity,” said WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze.
The maximum wind for the storm is currently 80 miles per hour.
The storm, which is moving 29 miles per hour, is currently heading for Hispaniola and Cuba.
The NHC’s latest forecast track showed that Hurricane Elsa continues to move west-northwest and interact with Cuba, before finally making its way into the southeastern Gulf before making a turn.
“Now, North Carolina is in the cone,” Maze said.
If the storm makes its way into the state, it looks like the storm would be here Thursday, according to Maze.
There are two things to watch out for with the storm:
“Highest-level wind shear will increase over the next 24-48 hours, which in theory should weaken the storm. Also with the interaction of the landmass [around Cuba] it could weaken further, so by the time it gets into the Gulf it could be much weaker than it’s now predicted,” Maze explained.
Maze added that the spaghetti model plots now show a more general consensus that the storm will move in the current predicted direction.