forecast to pass offshore
of Outer Banks as minimal hurricane
low pressure off Florida became a tropical depression late last night
and a tropical storm late this morning.
Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the 2014 hurricane
season, is forecast to pass just offshore of the Outer Banks
early Friday as a minimal hurricane.
And the area of "most concern," according to the forecasters, is Cape
Hatteras, which juts out well east into the Atlantic.
As of 5 p.m. today, the National Hurricane Center predicts the storm
will be just east of the Cape. However, a few important
details are still uncertain -- how close will the storm come to the
Cape and how strong will it be?
Arthur spent most of today hanging out off Florida and moving just
slightly, though now it is moving to the northwest instead of the south
and southwest. At 5 p.m., the storm was packing 50 mph winds,
the pressure was 1003 millibars, and it was moving northwest at 2 mph.
Thunderstorms had intensified, but some dry air was still mixing in
from the north.
The Hurricane Center says conditions will become more favorable for the
storm tomorrow and it will intensify quickly.
The "cone of uncertainty" shows the storm somewhere east of Charleston,
S.C., at 80 mph on Thursday afternoon.
Right now the forecast is that Arthur will make its closest approach to
Cape Hatteras late Thursday night and early Friday -- and currently the
Cape is right in the center of the cone.
It will speed up as it passes the Outer Banks, and by Friday night, it
is forecast to be off New York -- but still at 90 mph.
The concerns for the Outer Banks are high winds, high seas, rough surf,
heavy rainfall, and coastal flooding.
The storm's easterly winds will push water onto the ocean beaches as it
approaches and then will push water from the Pamlico Sound up on the
back side of Hatteras and Ocracoke as the storm passes and the wind
Again, the questions are: how close the storm will be and how hard the
winds will blow? If it's close and if it's a hurricane, the storm surge
could be significant.
Dare and Hyde county Emergency Management Offices are monitoring the
Residents and visitors should be aware of changing weather conditions,
keep up with the local and tropical forecasts on radio, television, or
the Internet, and listen for any announcements from emergency
The local NWS weather service office in Newport's website is
http://www.weather.gov/mhx/. The National Hurricane Center can be found