For residents along that part of the Outer Banks, this means that tropical-force winds are possible in 48 hours. As the storm gets closer, the next and final advisory would be a hurricane warning.
“A warning means it’s coming,” says Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “You need to have everything done and be in a safe place, protecting your self and your family.”
In its latest assessment, issued at 5 p.m., the hurricane center nudged the storm’s track a few more miles west, or closer to land.
“It’s going to be perilously close to Hatteras,” says Mr. Feltgen.
The latest analysis also put Cape Fear, N.C., to Surf City under a tropical storm watch. Tropical storm force winds are between 39 miles per hour and 73 m.p.h. Hurricane force winds are above 74 m.p.h and a major hurricane is above 110 m.p.h.
Forecasters still expect the storm to curve north and then northeast. However, Feltgen warns, “Nothing is etched in stone yet.”