|The location of Hurricane Arthur at 5am Thursday, July 3, as well as the anticipated track northeast towards Nova Scotia by this upcoming weekend.|
The first named hurricane of the 2014 season is located about 340 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina this morning. NOAA Hurricane Hunters had the storm reaching hurricane strength (category 1) of 75mph this morning at 5AM. A strengthening of the storm is forecast and winds could reach 85-95mph today. The system is moving towards the north at 9mph. A hurricane warning is in effect for the North Carolina coast as far north as Virginia Beach. Mandatory evacuations started this morning along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, particularly Hatters and Ocracoke Islands. As I mentioned yesterday, I am very familiar with the geography of the Outer Banks and any type of storm is problematic for the low lying barrier islands. Airing on the side of caution, and on the eve of the 4th of July weekend, evacuations were ordered. The initial affects of the storm will be rising surf and wind late this afternoon. Up to 150mm (6 inches) of rain along with winds in excess of 100mph are possible by early Friday. In addition, a storm surge of 2-4 feet is possible with coastal flooding expected.
By late Friday and into the weekend the system will accelerate northeast towards Nova Scotia with landfall as a category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm likely on Saturday very close to Halifax according to computer models. Heavy rain, strong winds and a storm surge are expected for portions of Nova Scotia, PEI and perhaps the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec and New Brunswick. The details will be more refined and watches or warnings posted later today or early Friday.