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Tropical Storm Arthur Brings Wind and Rain to Eastern North Carolina

Tropical Storm Arthur brought wind and rain to eastern North Carolina on Monday.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Arthur was located at latitude 34.5°N and longitude 75.9°W which put it about 50 miles (80 km) south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Arthur was moving toward the north-northeast at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1001 mb.

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

Tropical Storm Arthur began to move more quickly toward the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Monday morning.  The distribution of thunderstorms and winds around Arthur was asymmetric.  The strong thunderstorms were occurring in bands in the eastern half of the circulation.  The strongest winds were occurring in those bands.  Bands in the western half of Tropical Storm Arthur consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 90 miles (145 km) in the eastern half of Arthur.  The winds in the western half of Arthur were mostly less than tropical storm force.

The asymmetric structure of Tropical Storm Arthur meant that the strongest winds were occurring east of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  A buoy at Diamond Shoals was reporting a sustained wind speed of 33 m.p.h. (54 km/h) and wind gusts to 47 m.p.h. (76 km/h).  The wind speeds along the coast of North Carolina were much weaker.  Tropical Storm Arthur was dropping moderate rain over eastern North Carolina.   Wind blowing water toward the coast was causing the water level to rise in some locations.  Waves were causing erosion on some beaches.

A large upper level trough will approach Tropical Storm Arthur from the west.  The trough will turn Arthur more toward the east later on Monday.  On its anticipated track, Tropical Storm Arthur should move away from North Carolina on Monday afternoon.  Weather conditions should improve gradually when Arthur moves farther form the coast.

Tropical Storm Arthur Prompts Warning for North Carolina

Tropical Storm Arthur prompted the National Hurricane Center to issue a Tropical Storm Warning for a portion of the coast of North Carolina.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Surf City to Duck, North Carolina including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Arthur was located at latitude 30.5°N and longitude 77.4°W which put it about 345 miles (560 km) south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Arthur was moving toward the north-northeast at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (96 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Arthur exhibited more organization on Sunday morning.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were wrapping around the eastern and northern parts of the circulation.  Bands on the western side of Arthur still consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 115 miles (185 km) from the center of circulation on the eastern side of Tropical Storm Arthur.  The winds on the western side of Arthur were mostly below 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.  It will move under an upper level ridge centered off the southeast coast of the U.S.  The winds in the upper ridge are relatively weak and there will not be a lot of vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Arthur is likely to get stronger during the next 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Arthur will move around the western end of a high pressure system during the next 24 hours.  The ridge will steer Arthur toward the north-northeast during the next day or so.  A large upper level trough over the central U.S. will approach Tropical Storm Arthur on Monday.  The trough will steer Arthur more toward the east.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Arthur will approach the coast of North Carolina on Monday.  Arthur will bring gusty winds to the coast.  Wind blowing toward the shore will cause the water level to rise.  Waves will cause beach erosion.

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.

Tropical Depression One Forms East of Florida

Tropical Depression One formed east of Florida on Saturday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Depression One was located at latitude 28.4°N and longitude 78.6°W which put it about 125 miles (200 km) east of Melbourne, Florida.  The depression was moving toward the north-northeast at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued 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 a distinct low pressure system formed east of Florida on Saturday and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression One.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation.  Storms near the center began to generate upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the east of the depression.  The strongest winds were occurring in the inner part of the circulation, which was consistent with the typical structure of a tropical cyclone.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were developing.  The strongest bands were in the eastern half of the circulation.

Tropical Depression One will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next several days.  The depression 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 Depression One will strengthen into a tropical storm.

The upper level trough and upper level ridge will steer Tropical Depression One toward the north-northeast during the next 36 to 48 hours.  On its anticipated track Tropical Depression One will approach the coast of North Carolina on Monday.  It will be a tropical storm by that time.  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.

Hurricane Florence Wobbles Closer to North Carolina

Hurricane Florence wobbled closer to the coast of North Carolina on Thursday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 34.0°N and longitude 76.8°W which put it about 60 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the northwest at 6 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 956 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Edisto Beach to South Santee River, South Carolina.  A Tropical Storm Warning was also in effect for the portion of the coast from Duck, North Carolina to Cape Charles Light, Virginia and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

Hurricane Florence is already affecting the coast.  National Data Buoy Center C-MAN station CLKN7 at Cape Lookout, North Carolina reported a sustained wind speed of 81 m.p.h. (131 km/h) and a wind gust of 101 m.p.h. (163 km/h).  Storm surges were already occurring along portions of the coast east of the center of Hurricane Florence where the winds were pushing water toward the coast.  The highest surge appeared to be in the area of the western part of Pamlico Sound near the mouth of the Neuse River.  There were scattered reports of wind damage and power outages.

A high pressure system over the northeastern U.S. is blocking the northward movement of Hurricane Florence.  The high is steering Florence slowly toward the northwest.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Florence will make a landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday.  Florence could move a little south of due west after landfall.  The center will pass a little north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and then move toward Columbia, South Carolina.  Florence is likely to continue to weaken slowly.  Because of the slow movement, many locations will experience extended periods of gusty winds.  Power outages are likely to become more widespread on Friday.  Hurricane Florence will drop locally heavy rain.  Locations where rainbands are essentially station could receive over a foot (0.3 meters) of rain.  Serious fresh water flooding is likely to develop on Friday and Saturday.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Helene generated a Tropical Storm Watch for all of the Azores, Tropical Storm Isaac sped across the eastern Caribbean Sea and former Subtropical Storm Joyce made a transition to Tropical Storm Joyce.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Helene was located at latitude 28.6°N and longitude 36.5°W which put it about 885 miles (1425 km) southwest of the Azores.  Helene was moving toward the north at 21 m.p.h. (34 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 992 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude14.9°N and longitude 64.4°W which put it about 195 miles (315 km) south of St. Croix.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 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.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Joyce was located latitude 32.9°N and longitude 44.4°W which put it about 1040 miles (1670 km) west-southwest of the Azores.  Joyce was moving toward the south-southwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 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 1003 mb.

Hurricane Florence Moves Closer to the Carolinas

Hurricane Florence moved closer to the Carolinas on Wednesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 32.0°N and longitude 73.7°W which put it about 280 miles (455 km) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 957 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.  A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of coast from Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Virginia and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

The wind speed in Hurricane Florence decreased on Wednesday but the circulation increased in size.  It appeared that another eyewall replacement cycle could have started.  Satellite microwave images suggested that there could be two eyewalls and a reconnaissance plane reported a double wind maxima.  Both of those things could be evidence of concentric eyewalls.  In addition, counterclockwise flow around a small upper level low near Florida may have produced southerly winds that blew toward the south side of Hurricane Frances.  Those winds may have inhibited the upper level divergence to the south of Florence.  Since the hurricane was unable to pump out as much mass, the surface pressure increased and the wind speed decreased.

The circulation of Hurricane Florence increased in size on Wednesday.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 80 miles (130 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 200 miles (320 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Florence was 19.2.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 25.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 44.7.  Those indices are very similar to the numbers for Hurricane Jeanne just before Jeanne made landfall in southeast Florida in 2004.

Hurricane Florence will move through an environment favorable for intensification on Thursday.  Florence will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  Florence will move farther away from the upper low near Florida and the low should not inhibit divergence to the south of the hurricane as much.  In addition, Hurricane Florence will move over the warm water in the Gulf Stream about 6 to 12 hours before it reaches the coast.  It will be able to extract extra energy at that time.  If the inner core becomes more organized, then Hurricane Florence could intensify on Thursday.  If the inner core does not get better organized, then Florence will likely maintain its current intensity or weaken slowly.

Hurricane Florence will move near the western end of the subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Florence toward the northwest on Thursday.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Florence will be near the coast of North Carolina on Thursday night.  A ridge over the eastern U.S. is likely to block the northward motion of Hurricane Florence when it reaches the coast.  The ridge will steer Florence slowly toward the west-southwest on Friday and Saturday.

Hurricane Florence will have the impact of a major hurricane regardless of the actual sustained wind speed.  The large circulation and slow rate of movement when Florence reaches the coast means that locations could experience strong winds for extended periods of time.  Wind damage and power outages could be extensive.  Some places in North Carolina had a rainy summer and strong winds could uproot trees.  Hurricane Florence will produce a dangerous storm surge along the coast.  The surge could exceed 10 feet (3 meters) in some locations east of where the center makes landfall.  The slow forward speed also means that Hurricane Florence could drop locally heavy rain and severe flooding could occur.

Elsewhere the rest of the Atlantic Ocean was also very active.  Tropical Storm Isaac was nearing the Lesser Antilles, Hurricane Helene was weakening south of the Azores and Subtropical Storm Joyce formed northwest of Helene.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude 15.3°N and longitude 58.0°W which put it about 220 miles (355 km) east of Dominica.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Guadeloupe, Martinique and Dominica.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Antigua, Montserrat, St, Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Martin and St. Maarten.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Helene was located at latitude 22.4°N and 36.9°W which put it about 1270 mile (2045 km) south-southwest of the Azores.  Helene was moving toward the north at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 983 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Subtropical Storm Joyce was located at latitude 15.3°N and longitude 46.6°W which put it about 910 miles (1465 km) west-southwest of the Azores.  Joyce was moving toward the southwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Hurricane Warnings Issued for Carolinas for Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Warnings were issued for the Carolinas on Tuesday for the potential impacts of Hurricane Florence.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 28.4°N and longitude 68.7°W which put it about 670 miles (1075 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the west-northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (220 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (270 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 946 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from Edisto Beach to South Santee River, South Carolina and from Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from Duck, North Carolina to Cape Charles Light, Virginia and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

Hurricane Florence completed an eyewall replacement cycle and it continues to be a powerful hurricane.  There was a circular eye with a diameter of 30 miles (48 km) at the center of Florence.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  The eyewall replacement cycle resulted in a larger circulation.

Winds to hurricane force extended out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation of Hurricane Florence.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 175 miles (280 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Florence was 28.2.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 18.9 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 47.1.  Hurricane Florence is capable of causing extensive significant damage.

Hurricane Florence will move through an environment favorable for strong hurricanes during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Florence will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  it will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Florence is likely to maintain its intensity and it could strengthen.  If another eyewall replacement cycle occurs, then there could be fluctuations in intensity.

Hurricane Florence will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Florence toward the west-northwest during the next 24 to 36 hours.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Florence could approach the coast of the Carolinas later on Thursday.  The steering winds are forecast to weaken when Florence nears the coast and there is great uncertainty about the track when that occurs.  Hurricane Florence will bring strong winds to coastal North Carolina and eastern South Carolina.  Wind pushing water toward the shore will cause a significant storm surge.  A slow forward speed will mean that Hurricane Florence will drop a lot of rain and there is a risk of significant flooding of rivers and streams.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Isaac was speeding toward the Lesser Antilles and Hurricane Helene was weakening far south of the Azores.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude 14.5°N and longitude 52.3°W which put it about 580 miles (935 km) east of Martinique.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Saba and St. Eustatius.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Helene was located at latitude 18.0°N and longitude 35.4°W which put it about 1479 miles (2370 km) south-southwest of the Azores.  Helene was moving toward the northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 973 mb.