Arthur expected to become Category 2 storm before impacting Carolina coast

This National Weather Service map, issued at 11 a.m. Thursday, shows the expected path of Hurricane Arthur as of that time.
This National Weather Service map, issued at 11 a.m. Thursday, shows the expected path of Hurricane Arthur as of that time.

Hurricane Arthur is strengthening as its nears the North Carolina coast, and could become a Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall tonight.

As of 11 a.m., Arthur has maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and is heading toward North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

“Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours, and Arthur is expected to be a Category 2 hurricane when it passes over or near the North Carolina coast,” the NWS said.

Hurricane Warning and evacuations

A Hurricane Warning has been issued for just north of Wilmington, N.C., to the North Carolina-Virginia border, which includes all of the Outer Banks. A Hurricane Watch (slightly less serious than a Hurricane Warning) has been issued for the very southern North Carolina coast, to the South Carolina border.

Mandatory evacuations are taking place in parts of the Outer Banks, a popular resort area that is filled with vacationers during the long holiday weekend.

The area could be impacted by high winds, heavy rains and storm surge, with the possibility of isolated tornados, the NWS said.

Should then turn more easterly

Arthur is expected to move up the East Coast and turn more easterly, meaning landfall in New England is unlikely. Instead, the major impact on New England will be rip currents, with swimmers in Long Island Sound and all along the Atlantic Coast being warned to be extremely careful if venturing into the water over the holiday weekend.

The biggest impact of Arthur in New England will be in southeastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands, where some hurricane-like effects may be felt.

If Arthur’s track should turn to the left at some point as it moves up the coast, the impact on the Northeast could be more serious.

Saturday and Sunday look nice here

For Shelton, late Thursday and early Friday are expected to be rainy but then it should clear up and be nice on Saturday and Sunday, according to the NWS.

The Shelton fireworks now will take place on Saturday night, having been rescheduled from Thursday due to the predicted bad weather. A concert begins at 7 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park (the Riverwalk), followed by the fireworks once it is dark (at about 9:15 p.m. or so).