- 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 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 along with some potential impacts along the Southeast coast:
Above: The latest forecast path and wind speeds from the National Hurricane Center.
- 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.
Despite the general agreement in the forecast scenario above, it’s the exact track of the center that dictates impacts in any location. That exact track remains a somewhat uncertain at this time, typical for any tropical cyclone.
Here is a general layout of potential impacts by region, as best as we know them right now. We will update these as forecast details become clearer.
- Northwest Bahamas: Periods of soaking rain and squalls, particularly on Grand Bahama Island but also as far south as Nassau, may persist through Wednesday before diminishing.
- 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 area by Thursday, but a trailing band of rain/t-storms is possible.
- Georgia coast: Some rainbands with brief wind gusts may rotate in Wednesday, along with the threat of some elevated surf, rip currents, perhaps minor coastal flooding. System will have exited the area by later Thursday.
- South Carolina coast: Bands of rain with strong wind gusts late Wednesday into Thursday as the system makes its closest approach. High surf, rip currents, and some coastal flooding is possible. Strongest winds may remain offshore. Arthur will have exited by early Friday (Fourth of July).
- Coastal North Carolina/southeast Virginia: Bands of rain, elevated surf begin Thursday. Coastal flooding, some beach erosion, locally heavy rain, strong winds to peak with closest approach late Thursday into early Friday. Arthur will have exited the area by late Friday.
- Rest of Northeast seaboard: While some elevated surf is possible late Thursday into Friday, no other direct impacts from Arthur are expected. Some moisture from Arthur may intercept a cold front dragging through the Northeast to enhance locally heavy rain, there, Thursday into early Friday. Arthur and the cold front should be clear of the region by Saturday.
We have additional current status and forecast maps below, including watches, warnings, satellite imagery and model track forecasts.
So, where exactly is the cyclone’s center located now? If you’re plotting the storm along with us, the information depicted in the map above provides the latitude/longitude coordinates, distance away from the nearest land location, maximum sustained winds and central pressure (measured in millibars).
Tropical Storm/Hurricane 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.
Model Track Forecasts
Model forecast tracks
The various tracks shown in the map above illustrate possible tracks of the center of the tropical cyclone from various hurricane forecast models. The degree of spread in the tracks reflects the degree of uncertainty in the track of the tropical cyclone. A tight clustering of tracks can signify a higher-confidence track forecast compared to a large spread in model tracks. None of these tracks are the official forecast track. That is shown, instead, by a forecast path, cone or swath, illustrating an uncertainty in the future track. Also, the impact of any tropical cyclone can stretch well beyond the track of the storm’s center.
This infrared satellite image shows how cold (and therefore how high) the cloud tops are. Brighter orange and red shadings concentrated near the center of circulation signify a healthy tropical cyclone.
Visible Satellite (only during daylight hours)
This visible satellite image helps meteorologists pinpoint the low-level circulation center during daylight hours. In cases of strong wind shear (stronger winds aloft than near the surface, sometimes from different directions), one can spot an exposed circulation center, with convection blown downstream. This is an indication of a weakening tropical cyclone.