First Alert Tropical Update: Maria severely impacting Puerto Rico, adjacent areas

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Major Hurricane Maria is bringing a crippling impact on Puerto Rico and adjacent islands Wednesday morning.

According to the National Hurricane Center, satellite images and surface observations indicate that the center of Hurricane Irma made landfall near Yabucoa, Puerto Rico at about 6:15 a.m.

Upon making landfall, Maria will be back out in the southern Atlantic Ocean this evening; taking on a more northerly motion Thursday.

Jose has carved out a weakness in ridging over the western Atlantic Ocean. This should allow Maria to continue a more north or north-northeastward heading over the next several days.

No direct impacts are expected locally from Maria as of this forecast. Though, we may see an increase in wave heights and rip current risks.

However, the Bahamas and United States should still monitor this powerful storm for more direct impact potential as is tracks northward next week.

There is a lightly greater chance that Maria could impacts along near and north of the North Carolina Outer Banks next week.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.