AUGUSTA — Effects of Hurricane Earl will affect coastal regions of Maine late this week and into the weekend, according to the latest weather projections monitored by Maine Emergency Management Agency.

In a news release, MEMA also urges citizens to start thinking about what they need to be doing now in case the hurricane does strike Maine.

While the hurricane is still far to the south, the latest tracks indicate all of Maine is now within the “five-day cone.”

“Although the accuracy of tracks this far in advance is difficult to determine, it is essential that everyone begin to follow the weather reports closely,” says MEMA Director Rob McAleer.  He also says, “This storm is already a Category 3 hurricane and conditions are favorable for continued strengthening.”

Even if the hurricane does not strike the state directly, it is very likely that we will experience increased wave height and long period swells in the coastal waters, with high surf, large breaking waves and dangerous rip currents along the shoreline, McAleer said.