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TS Arthur moving up US east coast
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Graphic courtesy NHC
A enlarged view of the forecast track for Tropical Storm Arthur issued at 11 a.m. EDT July 2 by the National Hurricane Center.
Graphic courtesy NHC
A view of the five-day forecast track for Tropical Storm Arthur issued at 11 a.m. EDT July 2 by the National Hurricane Center. The storm was located about 105 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral.
Floridians can rest easy. The tropical storm watch for the east coast has been canceled. All signs point to better weather for Independence Day.

However, holiday plans may need adjustment for those who live or plan to visit the US east coast.

The latest report from the National Hurricane Center puts Tropical Storm Arthur, the first of the 2014 Atlantic season, about 105 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral and 260 miles south-southeast of Charleston, South Carolina. The storm was moving north at 7 mph.

Maximum sustained winds were up to 60 mph. The NHC predicts that Arthur will strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by Thursday. A hurricane watch is in effect from Bogue Inlet to Oregon Inlet in North Carolina and Pamlico Sound. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Little River Inlet North Carolina northward to the border of North Carolina and Virginia, as well as the eastern Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound. A tropical storm watch is in effect from south of Little River Inlet to South Santee River in South Carolina.

On the current forecast track, Arthur will be offshore the coast of Virginia on Independence Day.

First storm of the season

Hurricane season began June 1 and continues through Nov. 30.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís Climate Prediction Center released its hurricane season outlook May 22. Experts predict that the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season will have near-normal or below-normal activity.

The outlook gives a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season. The outlook also calls for a 70 percent chance that eight to 13 names storms will form with three to six strengthening into a hurricane and one to two becoming major hurricanes. The average, from 1981 to 2010, is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Climate experts rank named storms and hurricanes according to wind speed. A named storm must have minimum sustained winds of 39 mph. To gain the status of a Category 1 hurricane, on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, sustained wind speeds must increase to a minimum of 74 mph. The top rank, a Category 5 has minimum sustained winds of 156 mph. A major hurricane is a Category 3 or higher. A Category 3 has minimum sustained winds of 111 mph.

For more information about preparing for a hurricane, visit www.r­eady.­gov/h­urric­anes. For information about local evacuation levels and other information, visit www.p­inell­ascou­nty.o­rg/re­siden­t/dis­aster­s.htm.

Additional information can be found in TBN's hurricane guide.

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