Hurricane Arthur: Will it ruin the July 4th celebrations? (+video)
Hurricane Arthur: A storm off Florida is expected to reach hurricane strength by Thursday, July 3. Will hurricane Arthur track close enough to ruin East Coast July 4th plans?
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that a tropical storm will intensify into the first hurricane of the season within the next three days.
Hurricane Arthur won't be a big hurricane, say forecasters, probably just a Category 1 storm. But the 75 m.p.h. winds and rain could disrupt the July 4 holiday events on the East Coast from the Carolinas to Maine. It's too soon to tell if Arthur is going to follow a track close enough to the coast to blanket the area with rain and winds, or take a path too far from the coast to be disruptive to holiday plans.
As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, the storm was located 95 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Fla. It's forecast to grow into a tropical storm today, and the National Weather Service has issued a tropical storm watch for the east coast of Florida from Fort Pierce to Flagler Beach. A tropical storm watch means that winds exceeding 35 miles per hour and rain is expected in the next 24 to 36 hours.
In Florida, the National Hurricane Center is forecasting total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches, mainly across east-central Florida
and northeastern portions of the Florida peninsula. But it also says that some areas could get as much as 6 inches of rain in the next 48 hours.
The computer models suggest that the storm will not make landfall, but will go north along the East Coast of the US. It's expected to reach hurricane strength by Thursday and Friday, and won't begin to weaken until Saturday, July 5.
Meanwhile, tropical storm Elida moved slowly to the northwest off Mexico's Pacific coast, causing strong winds and heavy rain across the country's western and central states
The National Hurricane Center 8 a.m. EDT report on Elida says:
Elida has remained nearly stationary during the past few hours. A slow south and southeast motion is expected today and Wednesday, followed by a slow westward motion Wednesday night. On the forecast track, the center of elida and the strongest winds are expected to
remain offshore of the coast of southwestern Mexico.
Mexican authorities said Elida would bring torrential rains to the western states of Michoacan, Jalisco, and Colima, and heavy downpours to Nayarit, Hidalgo, Oaxaca and Guerrero. The National Hurricane Center said that the storm could cause rainfall of up to 8 inches in some areas and life-threatening surf and rip currents, according to Reuters.