Tropical Storm Arthur is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane within two days and threaten North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where tourists are visiting for the Fourth of July holiday, while also adding to heavy rain in New York.
The storm was 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said at 5 a.m. local time today. Hurricane watches were posted for North Carolina’s Bogue and Oregon inlets and Pamlico Sound. Tropical storm watches were in effect for parts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Florida.
“Strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Arthur is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday,” the center said in the advisory.
In New York, showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop late today and tomorrow, a combination of the cold front slowly approaching and tropical moisture streaming in from Arthur. New York has a 50 percent chance of rain on July 4, according to Joe Pollina, a weather service meteorologist based in Upton, New York.
“It would mainly be from the cold front,” he said by phone yesterday. “Arthur is going to be somewhere in the southeast or Mid-Atlantic region by then, well to our south.”
Arthur is the first named system of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Its winds are expected to peak at 85 mph within two days, making it a Category 1 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, the center said.
The system will probably pass over or near Dare County, in easternmost North Carolina, early on July 4. Officials will regroup today, after meeting yesterday to discuss what action to take, because the forecast remains “uncertain,” a notice on the county website shows.
In the Pacific, the hurricane center is also monitoring Tropical Storm Douglas, which is meandering southwest of Baja California. Remnants of the former Tropical Storm Elida are expected to produce rains in western Mexico and dissipate in the next two days.