Well, this storm has surprised me a bit. The storm formerly known as Invest 91L intensified late last night into the first tropical depression of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season. This morning, it was upgraded by the National Hurricane Center to tropical storm status.
As of the 8 PM EDT advisory, Arthur was located 90 miles east-southeast of Cape Canaveral, or about 348 miles southeast of Tallahassee. The TS is nearly stationary and has been moving erratically for most of the day. The pressure has fallen to 1003 mb with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. A NOAA automated weather station at Settlement Point at Grand Bahama Island reported sustained winds of 47 mph with gusts to 61 mph, according to the latest advisory.
The structure of the storm has improved during the day. One of the last frames of the visible satellite mode (above) shows better banding to the south and east. There is a better core of cloud cover and it’s looking more symmetrical. It seems to be fighting some of the drier air that has been plaguing the system for the last few days.
Further intensification would not surprise me. In fact, I would not be shocked if we see our first hurricane within the next 24 to 48 hours.
The storm will likely be picked up by a trough that is expected amplify in New England during the next few days, and help move this to the north and east. Also, a ridge to the east out in the open Atlantic could help give it a nudge. Guidance models are in fairly good agreement of moving Arthur to the northeast over time. In fact, the storm should be off of Florida’s shore by sometime Thursday.
The Florida peninsula could see a few rain bands from Arthur, but nothing too crazy. A few of these rain bands could bring some gusty winds. The east coast could also see some wave action and a high threat of rip currents (swimming is not advised). There is also an isolated threat of tornadoes and waterspouts. A tropical storm watch does remain in effect from Flagler Beach southward to Fort Pierce.
Those in the Carolinas and the mid Atlantic states should keep an eye on the movement and strength of Tropical Storm Arthur as it could have an impact on Independence Day plans.
My next update should be sometime tomorrow (Wednesday).