Arthur Expected to Strengthen, East Coast Likely to be Impacted July 4th
The Atlantic hurricane season officially started June 1 and the tropics are starting to heat up. Unfortunately, activity is picking up just in time for the long, holiday weekend.
Tropical Storm Arthur is the first storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season and it’s expected to strengthen as it continues to spiral northward.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami puts Arthur about 105 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., moving north at 7 mph. Arthur currently has winds of 60 miles per hour, but it’s in a low-sheared environment and sitting over very warm sea surface temperatures, meaning conditions are favorable for further intensification. Reconnaissance aircraft are flying regularly into the storm and continue to find a well-organized storm with robust convection.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for much of the North Carolina coast, from Little River Inlet to the Virginia border. Additionally, a hurricane watch has been issued for most of the North Carolina coast, from Bouge Inlet to Oregon Inlet – including the Pamlico Sound. A bit further south, tropical storm watches are in effect for south of the Little River Inlet to the South Santee River in South Carolina.
At present, most forecast models have the system slowly moving north for the next day or so, but that will change. Moving into the middle of the week, the storm will begin to pick up steam and is likely impact the Carolinas on July 4. Models also indicate that Arthur could strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane — with winds maxing out around 85 mph — as it nears the Outer Banks of North Carolina. So if you live in Wilmington, Swansboro, Kill Devil Hills and the surrounding areas pay close attention to watches and warnings.
Once it passes the Outer Banks, Arthur will race up the East Coast and could brush parts of New England on Saturday, but its effects will be limited on the Northeast. Once Sunday rolls around Arthur will be extra-tropical and out over the northern Atlantic.
Arthur is already bringing plenty of chop to the east coast of Florida. Wave heights, just 100 or so hundred miles offshore, are over 15 feet.
The last time the name “Arthur” was used for a tropical storm was in 2008. In that case, the storm made landfall in Belize with winds of 45 mph, causing about $78 million in damage.
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