First Warning Forecast: Feeling the impacts of Tropical Storm Arthur today

Tropical Storm Arthur is seen off the North Carolina coast on Monday afternoon. This is the sixth straight year a tropical storm system has developed before the official start of the hurricane season. Image courtesy National Hurricane Center

Governor Urges Caution at Coast as Arthur Approaches North Carolina

The first tropical system of 2020 took a glancing blow at the Outer Banks on Monday, as Tropical Storm Arthur moved up and then eventually off the coast.

The storm was unleashing heavy rain and gusty winds across the eastern part of the state while also generating unsafe surf conditions and rip currents.

The strongest winds will arrive early Monday and persist through Monday afternoon before diminishing later in the day. Wind gusts of 40 miles per hour were also reported in Avon on Monday morning, however final totals for wind gusts and rainfall due to Arthur will likely be available after the storm has left the N.C. region.

The weather pattern to begin the week will be due to an upper level low out toward Illinois/Indiana being blocked (or slow to move east) due to Tropical Storm Arthur in the Atlantic. "Locally higher amounts are possible where heavy rain is the most persistent, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax for rainfall of 6 inches", Kottlowski said. These swells could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions across much of these regions.

A tropical storm warning continued for the North Carolina coast from Surf City to Duck and included the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. Patients are being cared for in tents in Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian damaged the island's hospital.

"Everyone in our coastal areas should remain aware and cautious as Arthur brushes our coast on Monday", said Cooper.

Governor Roy Cooper is urging residents to exercise caution as Tropical Storm Arthur approaches.

The storm upgraded from a Tropical Depression One into a Tropical Storm late Saturday night.

The timing of Arthur coincided with North Carolina's first phase of its reopening strategy amid the coronavirus pandemic. A northeast wind keeps the coast in the 50s. Bars, restaurants and gyms remain closed throughout Dare County, and personal gatherings over 10 people remain prohibited.

The storm, which is not expected to make landfall or become a hurricane, comes ahead of the official start to the hurricane season - June 1 - during a year projected to be particularly active, according to Penn State University and Colorado State University. While some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, Arthur is likely to lose its tropical characteristics on Tuesday.

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