BWS: Tropical Storm Arthur A "Potential Threat"

Katie Ramirez
May 18, 2020

It's official: The Atlantic has its first named storm in 2020 and that designation is Arthur.

Though the hurricane season technically begins on June 1, the cyclone is considered tropical instead of subtropical because it has central deep convection and a relatively small radius of maximum wind.

Tropical storm force winds are expected along the coast.

"On the forecast track, Arthur will remain well offshore the east coast of Florida, Georgia, and SC today, and then move near or just east of the coast of North Carolina on Monday", the agency said. Continued gradual development is expected, and the system is likely to become a tropical or subtropical depression or storm later today or tonight while it moves north-northeastward over the Atlantic waters east of Florida.

Minor inundation from storm surge is possible for very low-lying areas adjacent to the ocean, sounds, and rivers, with overwash of dunes and flooding of properties and roadways possible for locations where dune structures are weak mainly north of Cape Lookout.

A Tropical Storm Warning could be required for portions of the Watch area by Sunday morning. "There is a still the possibility that Arthur makes landfall where the barrier islands jut out near Cape Hatteras", Duff said.

The NHC has now upgraded the probability of the system becoming a subtropical or tropical storm to 80% (HIGH) within the next 48 hours.

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Update Sunday, May 17, 7.55am: The system, which was a Depression yesterday, has now become Tropical Storm Arthur, and the BWS said that it is a "potential threat to Bermuda".

Coastal North Carolina can also expect anywhere between 1 and 3 inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, the agency said.

The AccuWeather RealImpact Scale for Hurricanes will be less than one for Arthur.

"Rough seas and gusty winds will expand northward to the upper mid-Atlantic coast late Monday through Tuesday as the storm drifts eastward and perhaps stalls over the open water", Duff said.

Regardless of what scenario plays out, Arthur is not likely to be a particularly intense storm, limited by a lack of moisture in the air mass surrounding it, according to Hurricane Center forecasters. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Residents in South Florida saw impacts from Arthur before it fully developed. Street flooding was reported across the Miami metro area.

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