Tropical Storm Arthur is getting close to hurricane strength (as of the 8 pm EDT advisory) as it begins to pick up speed and move north. Hurricane watches and warnings are in effect for for North Carolina.
Maximum sustained winds are at 70 mph with a minimum central pressure of 990 mb, according to the 8 pm EDT advisory. Arthur is 180 miles south-southeast of Charleston, S.C., or about 305 miles east of Tallahassee.
The tropical storm is looking better organized and symmetrical. Visible satellite imagery from earlier today even started to show what looked like a large eye, but this obviously has not shown up on other modes. It will likely become a hurricane sometime tonight or Thursday.
Arthur will likely continue it’s northerly trek and may shift to a more north-northeast to northeast path in time. The storm has the potential to either brush or make a direct hit on the Outer Banks (hence the hurricane watches and warnings). Those in who live along the coast in the mid Atlantic need to start enacting their hurricane plans and listen to local officials for updates.
As time moves forward, the impacts to Florida will lessen. There will still be a high threat of rip currents and some wave action on the east coast beaches.