3 July 2014, 15:09

Tropical storm Arthur turns into hurricane, approaches US coast

Tropical storm Arthur turns into hurricane, approaches US coast

Tropical Storm Arthur strengthened into the first hurricane of the season on Thursday as it moved up the East Coast of the US. Arthur is churning off South and North Carolina with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (mph), the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 0900 GMT. It is likely to approach the Outer Banks resort region of North Carolina on Thursday night, disrupting vacation plans for Americans getting ready to celebrate Independence Day.

Reports said that as many as half a million visitors had been estimated to pack Carolina beaches for the national holiday, the region's biggest tourist weekend.

The worst of the hurricane should occur at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina around Friday morning, with three to five inches of rain and sustained winds up to 85 mph, said Tony Saavedra, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

At 0900 GMT the hurricane was 340 miles (545 kilometers) southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Tropical storm threatens Independence Day celebration in US

Meteorologists are warning beach lovers up and down the Atlantic coast to avoid the waves as "Arthur," the first tropical storm of the season, threatens to reach hurricane level and disrupt Friday's Independence Day festivities, reports dpa. The National Hurricane Center on Wednesday focused its attention on the North Carolina coast, saying Arthur would likely reach hurricane level with 145-kilometer wind speeds.

Arthur's current wind speed was at 95 kilometers an hour.

But it added that everyone "along the United States East Coast north of (North Carolina) ... primarily in south-eastern New England" should be wary of the storm.

The private weather forecaster AccuWeather's meteorologist Rob Richards warned of a dangerous surf that is likely to bring life-threatening waves and rip currents, especially along piers and jetties.

Arthur on Wednesday was hovering about 100 kilometers east of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Though Arthur is expected to pass by New York City late Friday or early Saturday, rough winds and surf could still affect coastal New England throughout the Fourth of July weekend, Richards wrote.

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