The National Hurricane Center has just officially named its first tropical storm of the season, and it threatens to dump rain on Fourth of July celebrations up much of the East Coast. Tropical Storm Arthur, which is currently about 100 miles southeast of Florida's Cape Canaveral, could even strengthen into a hurricane before the festivities begin, CNN reports. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Florida's Fort Pierce to Flagler Beach.
The storm is expected to move northward tomorrow, and reach the Carolinas on Thursday, when it may make the leap to a Category 1 hurricane, according to Weather.com. On Friday it could threaten southeast Virginia, before heading out into the open Atlantic. "If your holiday plans take you north into the coastal regions of the Carolinas, now is the time to make alternative plans," Jacksonville's News 4 advises. For Florida itself, the impact should be fairly minor, though mariners should be aware that seas may hit 7 to 9 feet. (Read more hurricane stories.)