July 1, 2014

Tropical Storm Arthur, First of Atlantic Hurricane Season

Key Takeaways

  • Tropical Storm Arthur is spinning off the Florida coast, and is expected to strengthen.
  • A tropical storm watch is in effect from Fort Pierce north to just south of Flagler Beach on the east coast of Florida.
  • This system will track near parts of the Eastern Seaboard from Florida to North Carolina through the Fourth of July holiday.
  • All residents from eastern Florida to the Mid-Atlantic coast should monitor the progress of this system.
Tropical Storm Arthur, the Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm, is located about 100 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
While wind shear has lessened, some residual dry air near and to the north of the surface circulation has not allowed convection to persist near the center so far. The most persistent thundershowers associated with Arthur have remained south of the surface center, particularly into the northwest Bahamas, but some rainbands have wrapped ashore in eastern Florida, as well.

Below is a general day-by-day outlook:
Projected Path

Projected Path


  • Tuesday: Arthur is likely to lollygag off the east coast of Florida and north of the northwest Bahamas Tuesday. The somewhat hostile conditions (wind shear, dry air) limiting the system's organization the past few days are expected to lessen and Arthur may gather some strength.
  • Wednesday: A slow north-northeast crawl will continue. The system's center will likely move east of the northeast Florida coast. Situated over the Gulf Stream, Arthur will continue to gather strength.
  • Thursday: Arthur should bend toward the northeast and accelerate, and will be located somewhere near or off the coast of the Carolinas. Arthur may be a strong tropical storm and has a chance of intensifying to a Category 1 hurricane.
  • Friday: Arthur makes its closest approach to eastern North Carolina (Outer Banks), possibly extreme southeast Virginia, then takes a sharper northeast turn out into the open Atlantic, as the jet stream westerlies exert their steering influence. 
Potential impact on Florida:
  • Florida: Bands of showers will wrap ashore in eastern Florida through early Thursday. Gusts over 50 mph are possible in some of these rainbands. Outside of those rainbands, the strongest winds will remain offshore. Seas will build, with a threat of rip currents and some minor beach erosion possible. Arthur will have exited the area by Thursday, but a trailing band of rain/t-storms is possible.
Watches, Warnings
A tropical storm or hurricane watch is issued when those conditions are possible within the area. Watches are typically posted 48 hours in advance of the onset of tropical storm-force conditions, since preparing for the storm becomes difficult once tropical storm-force winds begin. A tropical storm or hurricane warning means those conditions are expected in the area. Warnings are typically issued 36 hours in advance of the onset of tropical storm-force winds. When a warning is issued, you should complete all storm preparations and, if directed by local officials, evacuate the area immediately.

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