At 2 p.m. on Friday, Maria was in the Atlantic about 40 miles southwest of Cape Race, Newfoundland, racing northeast at 54 mph with sustained winds of 75 mph.
Newfoundland can expect 1 to 3 inches of rain and coastal flooding. But the Canadian province probably won't see hurricane conditions, as the storm's worst weather should remain over the ocean, forecasters said.
Maria is expected to fall apart by this evening, as it aims into cooler waters.
For the past several hours, Maria has been bolting across the ocean at speeds of 50 mph or more, and tropical systems normally travel between 10 and 15 mph.
Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said Maria's breakneck pace isn't all that unusual.
"Once these things gets caught up in the fast-moving west and southwest flow, the afterburners are on," he said. "The
The Long Island Express, also known as the Great New England Hurricane, struck Long Island as a category 3 system on Sept. 21, 1938, and went on to wreak havoc across New England. It killed more than 600 people and destroyed more than 57,000 homes.
Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist of Weather Underground, noted that if Maria hits Newfoundland as a hurricane, it would be the second consecutive year the province has seen a hurricane strike, "something that has never occurred since hurricane record keeping began in 1851."