Tourists, coastal communities have eye on forecast

Posted June 30, 2014

— A storm that's churning off the coast of Florida is likely to become the first tropical depression of the season and could head toward North Carolina by the end of the week, according to the National Hurricane Center.

"This is a system that’s yet to develop," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said. "It’s not a tropical depression, certainly not a tropical storm yet. It’s just a situation that we’ll be watching closely."

If the low-pressure system intensifies into the first named Atlantic storm of the season, it will be called "Arthur."

It's a scenario that vacationers are not used to so early in the season. 

“We've been coming down for a long time, and I don't think I've ever had to prepare for a tropical storm this early, so yeah, it's a little bit of a surprise,” said Jesse Stump.

Those who managed to book the in-demand Independence Day week plan to make the most of it while watching the weather.

Several different tracks are predicted for the storm. Computer models plot some paths that would put it directly over the eastern part of North Carolina, while others show the system just brushing by the Outer Banks.

"Most likely it will be Friday when it has its greatest effect on North Carolina," Gardner said. That means the potential for heavy rain on the Fourth of July. Fireworks Find Fourth of July fireworks near you

Meanwhile, the region can expect a return to humid conditions after a pleasant weekend.

Those who entertain the coastal visitors are making plans as well. 

"We're not going to talk about that," said Steve Kiousis, owner of Stack'em High Pancakes. "I don't want to jinx us!

"We saw that on The Weather Channel yesterday and hopefully it will dissipate. We never want to wish something like that on anybody."


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  • mindybeth Jun 30, 2014

    WRAL does a decent job. They do not over sensationalize things like the Weather Channel tends to do these days. TWC always has headlines that are designed to get attention rather than to convey the real story. Almost every time that I look at TWC website it reads something like..."PREPARE NOW...Severe weather possible". Their hourly forecasts also leave a lot to be desired. WRAL is much more accurate.

  • baldchip Jun 30, 2014

    Thank goodness we have good weather folk at WRAL that keep us informed. Yes-Greg gets a little too excited when snow is on the horizon,but overall-they do a great job.

    I'll take this crew anyday in bad weather!!

    What a horrible weekend for a tropical depression to form!! Good news-it's normally beautiful afterwards!!

  • Mods Hate Me Jun 30, 2014

    The latest models of this storm have it intensifying, 4 of which have it at cat 1 hurricane strength. Furthermore, each model shows the path to impact our coast with some sort of heavy rain event. So, make fun of Elizabeth Gardner all you want, but she's just relaying what the models are saying. I, for one, am thankful that WRAL does a good job of warning us of potential weather problems as they develop.

  • busyb97 Jun 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Agree 100%. If they DON't talk about it, and it does turn into something, people complain they werent warned soon enough.

    For those who think it is drama, that is fine, go about your days. Those who wish to prepare, JUST in case, can get necessary supplies with ease and no stress. When a storm, be it this one, or the next, comes along....they will be ready. You can try to find a store with the supplies in low stock, or gone.

    Treat this as a drill.....because, later, something MAY happen and you will be ready.

    Second.....for those who ARE going to the coast for the holiday weekend, just be careful!! Even if it fizzles out, or stays off coast, rip tides get bad when storms go along the coast. Dont be the next headline. Watch your kids!! You can be caught in it before you know it. With crowded beaches, lifeguards will have their hands full.

  • stiltsnc Jun 30, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Where in the article does it predict doom and gloom? Why is it a bad thing to inform North Carolinians of a potential hurricane? Your second comment regarding preparedness is exactly what this article was posted for: so you can be prepared!

  • Jimm57 Jun 30, 2014

    Predicting doom and gloom from a system that hasn't formed yet! C'mon already and quit with the hype!

    Be prepared people. Get your hurricane preparedness kit ready. Plan ahead.

  • Mannin Black Jun 30, 2014
    user avatar

    WRAL. Can you do some work on the Hurricane Map? It really provides no info except some colored lines.

  • dwntwnboy2 Jun 30, 2014

    I'm not running out to buy supplies just yet, but you can believe I have my eye on it should it turn bad. Doesn't have to be a big storm to do big damage or spawn off tornadoes or flooding. Laugh at the weather person at your own peril, the rest of us will keep an eye on it but go on with our lives.

  • Carl Keehn Jun 30, 2014
    user avatar

    The chance of the storm reaching tropical status has increased from 60% to 80% in the past few hours. Based on the satellite images it has also shown fairly significant growth.

  • raleighboy524 Jun 30, 2014

    note this first portion of the first sentence on the where-to-find-fireworks story:
    "A storm may be bearing down on North Carolina"

    the storm hasn't even formed yet..........
    let alone started "bearing down" on NC.

    more weather hype.