Hurricane Maria is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to the Carolinas on Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Bogue Inlet, North Carolina, to the North Carolina-Virginia border, and for North Carolina's Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.
The NHC warned that water levels could rise two to four feet above ground in areas from Cape Lookout, North Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, if peak surge occurs during high tide.
"The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline," the NHC said.
The NHC also warned that swells from Maria "are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions."
An inch to two inches of rain is expected in North Carolina's Outer Banks through Wednesday.
Maria remains "a large hurricane," with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from its center and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles.
As of 8 a.m., Maria was centered about 190 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It was moving north at 7 mph, and a turn toward the north-northeast is expected on Wednesday.
"Gradual weakening" is expected over the next couple days, and Maria is forecast to become a tropical storm late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico last week.