Tropical Storm Arthur brushes past North Carolina coast, headed out to sea


Update – 2 p.m. Monday, May 18 — Tropical Storm Arthur brushed past the North Carolina coast on Monday and is now headed out to sea.

As of the 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and is headed northeast out into the Atlantic Ocean at 16 mph.

The storm is expected to stay far off land over the next couple of days, but could threaten Bermuda Wednesday night or Thursday.

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Tropical Storm Arthur expected to brush North Carolina, cause possible 'life-threatening surf.' (National Hurricane Center)
Tropical Storm Arthur expected to brush North Carolina, cause possible ‘life-threatening surf.’ (National Hurricane Center)

The center of Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the year, is drawing closer to the North Carolina coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At about 5 a.m., NHC reported the storm was about 85 miles south of Morehead City with 45 mph sustained winds. It’s heading north-northeast at 14 mph.

Tropical Storm Warnings are in place for Surf City north to Duck and fo Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

The center of Arthur will approach the North Carolina coast “within the next few hours,” NHS said at 5 a.m.

NHC expects the storm to begin turning northeast later today before facing due east on Tuesday.

The hurricane center says the storm is likely to build strength during the next 48 hours but lost its tropical characteristics on Tuesday.

The storm may bring swells and “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”

The Triad is expected to see some rain later in the day Monday from a system coming in from the west, but not from Arthur.

“We’re going to have some prolonged rain and can’t rule out some thunderstorms,” FOX8 Meteorologist Emily Byrd said about the Triad.

Local storms and rain could last into Friday before sunny skies return for the weekend.

Governor Roy Cooper is urging people along the North Carolina coast to pay close attention to Tropical Storm Arthur.

“Everyone in our coastal areas should remain aware and cautious as Arthur brushes our coast on Monday,” Governor Cooper said. “Pay close attention to the forecast and don’t take chances in dangerous surf.”

The state’s preparedness website,, contains what you need to know to assemble a family emergency kit and prepare a family emergency plan. 

This year, with the threat of the COVID-19 virus, be sure to include items in your emergency kit to keep your family healthy, like sanitizing wipes, masks and hand sanitizer.

When considering your evacuation plan for this hurricane season, it’s better to plan to stay inland with a family member or friend or at a hotel, instead of at an emergency shelter.

Follow @NCEmergency on Facebook and Twitter for weather updates.

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