Hurricane Arthur Makes First Landfall in North Carolina as Category 2 Storm; Outer Banks Bracing for Impact

July 4, 2014

Hurricane Arthur Facts as of midnight EDT

- Arthur has maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, is located over Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina, and is moving northeast and accelerating.
- Hurricane Arthur made its first landfall over the Shackleford Banks, between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, North Carolina, at 11:15 p.m. EDT Thursday.
- Arthur is now a Category 2 hurricane. Its center will continue to pass over portions of the North Carolina coast and the Outer Banks over the next several hours.
- Potential storm surge forecast of 3 to 5 feet above ground (high tide) in eastern North Carolina hurricane-warned area.
- A hurricane warning extends south from the Virginia/North Carolina border to Surf City, North Carolina, including the Outer Banks.
- A tropical storm warning is in effect for parts of eastern North Carolina outside the hurricane warning, plus southeast Virginia, including Wilmington and Virginia Beach.
- A tropical storm warning is in effect for Nantucket and Cape Cod from Provincetown to Chatham, Massachusetts.
- Tropical storm watches and warnings have been posted for portions of Atlantic Canada.
- Peak impact in North Carolina and southeast Virginia will occur between now and midday Friday.

(MORE: East Coast Already Preparing for Arthur | Live Blog)

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Watches/Warnings

Background

Warnings

Warnings
Tropical Storm 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. 

Background

Arthur: Current Radar

Arthur: Current Radar

Hurricane Arthur Radar

Outer rainbands have continued to wrap ashore into parts of North Carolina. These rainbands can contain brief spinup tornadoes.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch for the red-shaded area on the map until 8 a.m. EDT Friday.

Below is the day-by-day timeline along with potential area impacts along the East Coast:

Background

Projected Path

Projected Path

Above: The latest forecast path and wind speeds from the National Hurricane Center.

Forecast Timeline

         - Thursday night: Arthur will cross coastal areas of eastern North Carolina, including the Outer Banks, as a Category 2 hurricane. Hurricane-force winds will batter this area along with storm surge and dangerous waves.

         - Friday: Arthur continues northeast into the open Atlantic during the day before passing Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island of Massachusetts late Friday night into early Saturday morning.

         - Saturday: Arthur pulls away from a position off Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Island Saturday morning. The center will likely stay appreciably to the southeast of these areas. Arthur will then pass near or over Nova Scotia as it transitions to a strong post-tropical low pressure system.

Background

Peak Impacts: Outer Banks

Peak Impacts: Outer Banks

Potential Impacts

Here is a layout of potential impacts by region. We will update these as forecast details become clearer.

(NWS LOCAL IMPACT STATEMENTS: Florida | South Carolina | North Carolina | Virginia)

        - South Carolina coast: As Arthur moves northeast away from the Palmetto State, winds will begin to subside, though a few gusts of wind can't be ruled out. However high surf, rip currents, and some coastal flooding is possible, with up to 1-3 feet inundation above ground level (worst-case at high tide) along northeast S.C. coast. Arthur will have exited by early Friday (Fourth of July).

        - Coastal North Carolina: Bands of rain, elevated surf have begun. Surge flooding from 3-5 feet above ground level (worst-case if at high tide) is possible from the Outer Banks south to Surf City, 2-4 feet above ground level along Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, and 1-3 feet above ground level south of Surf City. Heavy rain and hurricane-force winds to peak with closest approach late Thursday into Friday morning. General 3-5 inch rainfall totals are possible in eastern North Carolina, with locally higher amounts. A few tornadoes are possible in rainbands through early Friday. Arthur will have exited the area by late Friday night.

        - Southeast Virginia: Bands of rain, strong wind gusts begin overnight Thursday night into Friday. Surge flooding from 1-2 feet above ground level (worst-case if at high tide) is possible. Coastal flooding may linger into Friday afternoon/evening as winds turn to north-northeast. Arthur's impacts will have ended after midnight Friday night.

        - Rest of Northeast seaboard: While elevated surf and the threat of rip currents is expected into Friday, no other direct impacts from Arthur are expected for most. We can't rule out some tropical storm-force gusts in Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Island late Friday night. Some moisture from Arthur may intercept a cold front dragging through the Northeast to enhance locally heavy rain, there, through Friday. Arthur and the cold front should be clear of most of the region by Saturday, except for some lingering rain and gusty winds in coastal eastern New England.

        - Canadian Maritimes: Strong winds, heavy rain, and some coastal water rise is expected in Nova Scotia as Arthur transitions to a strong post-tropical low and moves in Saturday. The low will then track over Newfoundland Sunday in a weakened state.

(FORECAST: Charleston | Myrtle Beach | Outer Banks | Va. Beach | Nantucket | Halifax)

High Tide Times

       - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina1:58 a.m. Friday

       - Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina12:25 a.m. Friday

       - Cape Hatteras, North Carolina12:19 a.m. and 1:03 p.m. Friday

       - Norfolk, Virginia: 2:28 a.m. and 3:06 p.m. Friday

(MORE: High/low tide times for your area via NOAA)

We have additional maps below, which will give you an idea how strong Arthur is right now.

Background

Storm Information

Storm Information

Current Position

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).  

 

Background

Infrared Satellite

Infrared Satellite

Infrared Satellite

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.

 

Background

Visible Satellite

Visible Satellite

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.

Check back with us at weather.com and The Weather Channel for the latest updates on this Fourth of July holiday week storm.

 

(MORE: Expert Analysis | WeatherREADY hurricane safety | Hurricane Central)

MORE: Hurricanes From Space

Hurricane Igor is featured in this Sept. 14, 2010, image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. (NASA)


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