Tropical Storm Arthur becomes the first Atlantic-named storm in 2020

Katie Ramirez
May 19, 2020

The first named storm of the 2020 hurricane season formed Saturday evening.

Risky coastal surf conditions and rip currents are also expected to spread north up the Atlantic coast over the next couple days before the storm is predicted to make a sharp right turn out to the ocean, the National Hurricane Center said. This will set up an unsettled weather pattern with on and off rain and t-storms Friday through Memorial Day Monday.

The weather pattern to begin the week will be due to an upper level low out toward Illinois/Indiana being blocked (or slow to move east) due to Tropical Storm Arthur in the Atlantic. Most of Eastern NC will see 1"-3" of rainfall today with locally higher totals possible.

One area in particular forecasters are anxious about is Ocracoke Island, which suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Dorian back in September.

On Sunday, North Carolina Gov.

While there may be a component of warming waters and climate change in other pre-June storms, Arthur is more of a subtropical storm system than a traditional named storm and its water is cooler than what's usually needed for storm formation, said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

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"Everyone in our coastal areas should remain aware and cautious as Arthur brushes our coast on Monday", said Governor Cooper. "Pay close attention to the forecast and don't take chances in risky surf". Heavy surf, life-threatening rip currents, and risky marine conditions will continue today and Monday along the entire coast. Risky marine conditions are also expected, with seas building to 8-10 feet, creating treacherous conditions for mariners.

Despite expectations, Arthur hasn't strengthened much and had winds of 45 miles per hour Monday morning, making it a minimal tropical storm.

Arthur was this morning 627 miles west-northwest of Bermuda and moving north-northeast at 16mph with 52mph winds and 63mph gusts. Bars, restaurants and gyms remain closed throughout Dare County, and personal gatherings over 10 people remain prohibited.

Arthur became a tropical storm 15 days ahead of the start of the hurricane season, and is the first storm in May to impact the Outer Banks since Tropical Storm Anna in 2015.

While some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours, Arthur is likely to lose its tropical characteristics beginning late tonight or Tuesday.

AccuWeather meteorologists say there are now no other organized tropical system in the Atlantic and any new development is not expected through at least early next week.

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