Tropical Storm Arthur Forms Off Florida, Warnings Issued

Katie Ramirez
May 20, 2020

The storm's sustained winds remained around 60 miles per hour.

If it does form it would be Subtropical Storm or Tropical Storm Arthur, the fifth year in a row the "A" storm has formed prior to June 1, the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Hurricane season is not officially scheduled to begin for another two weeks, but Tropical Storm Arthur is here anyway.

The hurricane center said Arthur could gain some strength over the next 48 hours before losing its tropical characteristics on Tuesday.

"These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions across much of the USA southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts", said the agency.

"Minor inundation from storm surge is possible for 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", the service said Sunday.

Arthur was expected to intensify as it moved northeastward away from the East Coast early this week.

A tropical disturbance may become better organized into a named storm this weekend (Arthur).

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The NHC said: "At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Arthur was located near latitude 30.3 North, longitude 77.4 West".

A turn toward the northeast with an increase in forward speed is expected during the next 24 to 48 hours.

As a result, tropical storm warnings have been issued from Surf City, Duck, N.C. - including the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. Last year, the strongest Atlantic hurricane was the "Dorian".

The Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook is calling for an above normal volume of hurricanes and major hurricanes for the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Another important factor is the warming of sea surface temperatures in recent decades due to climate change, allowing earlier development.

Researchers at Colorado State are predicting 16 named storms, of which eight are forecast to grow to be hurricanes.

The NWS's Newport/Morehead office, which covers the Outer Banks, expects winds between 25 and 35 miles per hour, with gusts up to 50 mph. Hurricane scientists now have more access to satellite and other observational data about the Atlantic Ocean, making them more inclined to search for and name storms.

One area in particular forecasters are anxious about is Ocracoke Island, which suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Dorian last September. Like most earlier-than-usual storms, Arthur is prone to stay offshore, however might come comparatively near North Carolina's coast Monday, Klotzbach advised the AP on Saturday.

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