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Hurricane Arthur Eyes Coastal North Carolina Thursday Night

By Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist.
July 04, 2014; 12:22 AM

Arthur continues to strengthen and was upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane (sustained winds of 96-110 mph) late Thursday night.

Arthur has become the first hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic tropical season and is forecast by AccuWeather to take a northeasterly path along the Atlantic coast of the United States Thursday night into Friday.

At 11:15 p.m. EDT Thursday, Arthur made landfall over the Shackleford Banks which is located between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, North Carolina, as a Category 2 hurricane.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Justin Povick explains everything you need to know about Hurricane Arthur, from track and intensity to impacts along the East Coast, in the video below.

Bands of rain and gusty winds will increase over the upper coast of South Carolina and will spread northward along the North Carolina coast through Thursday night. A few of these gusts can be strong enough to down trees around Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, "With this forecast track, the worst of Arthur's wind will remain offshore of the North Carolina mainland, but some strong, gusty squalls will affect the coastal areas of North Carolina and especially the barrier islands."

Some property damage and power outages are possible from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Virginia Beach, Virginia, along the coast.

The western eye wall of Arthur will pass over Cape Fear, North Carolina. The eye may pass over Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

During Thursday night into the morning hours of the Fourth of July, Arthur will pass over the Outer Banks. Winds averaging 50 to 80 mph with higher gusts are forecast for this area. There is a risk of widespread power outages and significant property damage.

A coastal inundation (storm surge plus astronomical tides) of 3 to 6 feet of water is forecast above ground level. Inundation at a few locations on the Outer Banks and mainland areas adjacent to the sounds can reach between 6 and 9 feet. There will be wave action on top of the coastal inundation that can cause significant beach erosion.

Hyde County, North Carolina, officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for Hatteras Island. If people remain on the barrier islands, they will likely be stranded there until after the storm passes.

Locally damaging winds and coastal flooding are possible in southeastern Virginia late Thursday night into Friday morning from some of the outer bands of Arthur and funneling effect that takes place when storms and hurricanes take a similar track.

Later Friday, the center of Arthur is forecast to steer east of the mid-Atlantic.

During the early morning hours on Saturday, Arthur may pass just to the southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Less severe weather conditions are in store for the balance of the southeastern coastline of the U.S. during Thursday and Friday. However, a few locally gusty showers and thunderstorms are likely and the surf will remain very rough with strong rip currents.

"The main impact will be northward-expanding rough surf with strong rip currents from the Florida east coast to New Jersey, Long Island and southeastern New England," Kottlowski said.

Coastal flooding is possible at times of high tide from the Delmarva Peninsula to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Along with the coastal flooding and building waves will be the minor beach erosion Friday night into Saturday morning. Winds may get strong enough to cause power outages on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

Arthur is forecast to pass near or over Nova Scotia this weekend while or shortly after transitioning to a non-tropical system. Regardless of the status of Arthur by the time it reaches the Canada province, it has the potential to bring damaging winds, coastal erosion and flooding.

A zone of heavy rain and thunderstorms will develop well north and west of the direct impact of Arthur. This area is likely to stretch along the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England and include the beaches.

According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, "An approaching cool front will interact with tropical moisture in place and could bring flash flooding, gusty thunderstorms and travel delays Thursday into part of the Fourth of July from Washington, D.C., to New York City and Boston."

Dry air will progress from west to east across the area Friday afternoon but will not reach southeastern New England and eastern Long Island until late Friday night.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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