Published: 2014-07-01 06:51:00
Updated: 2014-07-01 22:43:12
Posted July 1, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — A hurricane watch is expected to be posted for the North Carolina coast on Wednesday as the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season approaches the Outer Banks, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.
Tropical Storm Arthur is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds when it reaches North Carolina Thursday afternoon, said Maze, who added that the storm's current projected path has its center away from shore.
A storm's strongest winds and rains are east of its center, Maze said.
"It looks like the worst wind and rain may be off shore," he said.
Tropical Storm Arthur
Coastal webcams offer a live look at conditions as Arthur approaches.
Track the storm with WRAL's interactive hurricane tracker.
Make sure your holiday rental includes insurance.
Thursday at 1 p.m.: CHAT LIVE with WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner
Despite the uncertainty of the storm's path, coastal towns were already making changes to Fourth of July plans. Atlantic Beach officials said the town's annual fireworks show would take place on July 5 at 9 p.m. to avoid any remnants of the storm.
The North Carolina Ferry System is currently operating on its normal schedule, but the system said that could change Thursday evening, especially for the system's southern routes, as the storm moves up the coast.
State Department of Transportation crews are gearing up for the storm along the Outer Banks, staging front end loaders, motor graders and bulldozers along N.C. Highway 12 in Ocracoke, Rodanthe and Pea Island. The extra equipment is in addition to other equipment already at maintenance yards in Manteo, Ocracoke and Buxton.
In the Triangle, hot temperatures will stay put throughout the middle of the week. Highs will climb into the low 90s Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and afternoon showers and thunderstorms are possible each day.
Moisture from the tropics will combine with an approaching cold front on Thursday, sending chances for rain higher.
On the Fourth of July, however, Triangle-area fireworks shows should be met with warm temperatures and clear skies.
"We'll probably be clearing out Friday afternoon and evening," Gardner said.
Highs Friday, Saturday and Sunday will top out in the upper 80s to near 90 degrees.