Ahead of Hurricane Season, 1st Named Storm Forms

Tropical Storm Arthur is heading toward NC
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 17, 2020 9:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – Tropical Storm Arthur inched closer to the East Coast on Sunday and was expected to strengthen as it starts to impact North Carolina later in the day. Arthur formed off the coast of Florida on Saturday, reports the AP, making it the sixth straight year for a named storm to develop before the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The US National Hurricane Center in Miami issued a tropical storm warning for North Carolina's Outer Banks on Sunday. At 8am EDT, the storm's center was located about 355 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, NC. Arthur had top sustained winds of 40mph and was moving to the north-northeast at 9mph. Forecasts say Arthur will stay well offshore of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina on Sunday and then approach the North Carolina coast on Monday, where it will drop 1 to 3 inches of rain Sunday night and Monday.

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The National Weather Service said eastern North Carolina should prepare for localized flooding and dangerous marine conditions along the coast. “Minor inundation from storm surge is possible for very low-lying areas adjacent to the ocean, sounds, and rivers, with overwash of dunes and flooding of properties and roadways possible,” mainly north of Cape Lookout, the weather service said Sunday. 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. A lot of out-of-season storms are weak fleeting ones that meteorologists can see now because of satellites and better technology and would have been missed in earlier times, Klotzbach said. Like most earlier-than-usual storms, Arthur is likely to remain offshore.

(Read more hurricane season stories.)

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