We are currently watching what will become either tropical depression or Tropical Storm Arthur as it continues to develop near the east coast of FL and begin to track Northeast over the Atlantic Ocean close to the Outer Banks of NC.
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Current Advisory and Position As of 5 am on May 17, 2020.
May 17, 5 am – Tropical Storm warnings are now active for the NC coast from Topsail Island through the Outer Banks. Winds are at 40 mph and the official forecast is well east of the Outer Banks. Next update is at 11 am.
May 16, 11 pm – The NHC has officially named Tropical Storm Arthur since the hurricane hunter aircraft discovered winds greater than 39 mph in the system. The official track was shifted more west taking Eastern NC out of the cone of uncertainty.
The threshold for Arthur to become a tropical storm is sustained winds of 39 mph to 73 mph.
At 4:50 PM, a tropical storm watch is currently in effect over Coastal NC.
At 4:45 PM on May 16, the NHC officially upgraded this system to Tropical Depression One.
Currently this subtropical system is located just off the east-central FL coast and hurricane hunter aircraft is reporting a broad circulation which is clearly evident on local radar. Thunderstorm convection on the right side of this subtropical system is also clearly visible on local radar. The forecast is for this system to track generally Northeast over the Atlantic Ocean staying well east of the NC coast and Outer Banks.
Hurricane hunter aircraft flew a mission in to this system early on May 16 and will fly another mission in to the core of this storm on the evening of May 16, 2020. If the broad center of circulation and thunderstorm convection continues or gets more organized, the NHC could issue tropical storm watches for a large part of the NC coast to include Carteret County and the Outer Banks.
Hurricane and tropical model guidance continues to show what will likely become tropical depression Arthur to stay well off the coast of NC, but still bringing some much needed rain. The main threat to this system will be very deadly and active rip currents. Rain, wind, and storm surge impacts will change as new information become available indicating how close to the NC coast or Outer Banks this system will track.
Preparations for this system include monitoring the NHC advisories and updates, local emergency management directives, and all preparations warranted by tropical storm watch and warnings.
This section is not to be considered forecast information and is simply commentary provided by me.
Hurricane model guidance is showing considerable strengthening over the next 24 hours and a closer track to the Outer Banks than what is being discussed in the current official track. Additionally, models indicate that this tropical system will be on the threshold of a tropical storm as it passes near or over Eastern NC to include Carteret County.
At this point, I believe it is prudent to prepare for short duration tropical storm force conditions over our area.
Impacts for Carteret County NC will likely happen during or near mid-day Monday, May 18, 2020.
This page will be updated frequently as new information is received.
What is the difference between a watch and warning?