Science News
Published: Jul 1, 2014
Tropical Storm \ Hurricane Arthur Could Spoil July Fourth for East Coast
by staff


Tropical Storm \ Hurricane Arthur Could Spoil July Fourth for East Coast, The first hurricane of the season could form just in time to wreck the Fourth of July holiday.

The first tropical depression of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season formed off the east coast of Florida early on Monday night and is projected to strengthen -- and some forecast models have it sweeping straight up the Atlantic coast as the holiday approaches.

The first name on the list of tropical storms and hurricanes for the 2014 Atlantic season is Arthur.

A tropical storm watch is already in place for part of the Atlantic coast of Florida and could be extended Tuesday. It’s too early to tell where the storm will be for the holiday Friday, but fireworks plans could be shelved from Cape Cod to the mid-Atlantic coast.

This system is forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm and drift northward along the East Coast during the next couple of days, spreading rough surf, gusty thunderstorms and locally drenching downpours.

The storm battled dry air and wind shear (disruptive winds) on Monday east of Florida and north of the Bahamas but was beginning to overcome the obstacles to development.

How nasty the weather gets on the Atlantic coast will depend on the track and strength of the system as it passes by. There is a possibility of a period of heavy rain, gusty thunderstorms and building surf.

The worst conditions are likely to be on Thursday night into Friday around Delmarva and New Jersey and during the day Friday into Friday night over Long Island and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


Forecast

Tuesday: The depression 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. The T.D. may strengthen to become Tropical Storm Arthur.

Wednesday: The northward turn will have begun, thanks to an approaching cold front and southward dip, or trough, in the jet stream, in concert with strengthening high pressure near Bermuda. The system's center will likely move east of the northeast Florida coast. Situated over the Gulf Stream, the future T.S. Arthur will continue to gather strength.

Thursday: Arthur should bend toward the northeast, and will be located somewhere near or off the coast of the Carolinas. Arthur may be a strong tropical storm and has a slight 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 east-northeast turn out into the open Atlantic, as the jet stream westerlies exert their steering influence.

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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