Published: 2014-06-30 06:26:00
Updated: 2014-06-30 15:02:27
Posted June 30, 2014
Kitty Hawk, N.C. — 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. 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."