Tropical Depression One Strengthens Into Tropical Storm Arthur

Tropical Depression One strengthened into Tropical Storm Arthur on Saturday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Arthur was located at latitude 29.4°N and longitude 77.7°W which put it about 420 miles (675 km) south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Arthur was moving toward the north-northeast at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

A Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect for the portion of the coast from Surf City to Duck, North Carolina including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Surface observations and data from aircraft reconnaissance indicated that Tropical Depression One strengthened on Saturday night and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Arthur.  Thunderstorms continued to develop near the center of circulation and storms near the center generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the east of the depression.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing.  The strongest bands were in the eastern half of the circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 80 miles (130 km) from the center in the eastern side of Tropical Storm Arthur.  Most of the winds in the western side of the circulation were less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Arthur will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Arthur will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 25°C.  An upper level trough over the eastern Gulf of Mexico and an upper level ridge east of Florida will interact to produce southerly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Storm Arthur will strengthen on Sunday.

The upper level trough and upper level ridge will steer Tropical Storm Arthur toward the north-northeast during the next 36 to 48 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Arthur will approach the coast of North Carolina on Monday.  It will bring gusty winds and heavy rain to parts of the coast.  Wind blowing water toward the coast will cause the water level to rise and there will be erosion of the beaches.