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July 1, 2014

Tropical Storm Arthur update

Live Oak — At 2:00 p.m. EDT, Tropical Storm (TS) Arthur was located near latitude 27.9 north and longitude 79.4 west, or approximately 210 miles south-southeast of Mayport, Florida. This position is also about 150 miles southeast of Flagler Beach, Florida. TS Arthur is moving northwest at 5 mph. This general motion should continue through tonight, followed by a turn toward the north on Wednesday. The center of the tropical cyclone is expected to remain offshore and move east of the central Florida east coast during the next day or so. The system is forecast to pass 80 to 120 miles offshore of northeastern Florida on Wednesday and Wednesday night and about 120 to 140 miles east of southeast Georgia coast early Thursday morning. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center. Conditions should allow for at least steady strengthening and TS Arthur is expected to become a hurricane offshore or near the Carolina Coasts by Thursday night and Friday morning.

Local Impacts & Timing:

Based on the latest forecast, the greatest impact from this system will likely be over the adjacent Atlantic waters out 20 to 60 nautical miles Wednesday and Wednesday night, with conditions improving Thursday as the low tracks farther NE away from the region. A tropical storm watch was issued this morning for the offshore Atlantic coastal waters (20-60 NM east of the Altamaha River southward to 20-60 NM east of Flagler Beach) and this watch may be upgraded to a warning around 430 p.m. A Watch means that Tropical Storm conditions are possible over these waters within 48 hours.

 

The highlight impact (rip currents) for our region

As onshore winds increase through midweek and swells build, the chance of dangerous rip currents along the coast will also increase. Today there is a moderate risk of rip currents, with a high risk of rip currents expected on Wednesday. Breezy ENE winds will near 15-25 mph today and Wednesday with higher gusts...especially along the immediate beaches. The main impact for coastal counties will be dangerous rip currents on area beaches from swells originating from the storm through July 4.  This is where lifeguards and local coastal county officials will have to remain vigilant and safeguard beach goers into the holiday weekend.  Folks going to nighttime fireworks near the beach, a word of caution, please be very mindful of whereabouts of children, due to the strong rip currents that will be hard to discern during the dark of night!   

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