Hurricane Arthur Liveblog: Will It Ruin Your Fourth?

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 4 2014 8:30 AM

Hurricane Arthur Liveblog: Will It Ruin Your Fourth?

Arthur has reached hurricane status.

Image: NOAA

July 3, 12:30 p.m.: Hurricane Arthur is on track for an unwelcome tour of the East Coast this holiday weekend, already raining out fireworks celebrations and forcing beachgoers to flee for higher ground. First stop: North Carolina.

In its 11 a.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said Arthur’s sustained winds had strengthened to 90 mph—an upper-range Category 1 hurricane. The storm should strengthen further before landfall in the North Carolina Outer Banks later Thursday, and is now expected to reach mid-Category 2 status during its close approach there.


The storm is expected to hit hardest in North Carolina, where Gov. Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency for coastal counties.

A mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island in the vulnerable Outer Banks was underway on Thursday. With summertime tourism at its peak, and the forecast trending stronger and closer to the coast than earlier expectations, those remaining behind to ride out Arthur on North Carolina’s barrier islands may end up with a bit more storm than they bargained for.

Storm surge flooding is expected to reach five feet above ground level in some locations on the Outer Banks, creating the potential for road washouts. Wind gusts could top 100 mph during the early morning hours of July Fourth.

After its brush with North Carolina, Arthur will spend the rest of the Fourth of July traveling relatively quickly up the East Coast. Arthur’s passage should be at a safe enough distance to keep wind and flooding risk to a minimum, but close enough to create a wave of rain showers and dangerous beachfront currents. Arthur will make its closest approach to New England during the evening hours on Friday: perfect timing to make Independence Day there a washout.

As a result, Fourth of July fireworks will now take place a day early in Boston. Rain should clear out early enough on the Fourth for holiday celebrations in Washington, D.C., to continue as planned. The weather will be a bit more borderline on Friday evening in New York City, but the current forecast should still allow for evening festivities.  Arthur may also pose a serious threat to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland on Saturday as it transitions to a powerful extratropical cyclone.

This radar animation from Weather Underground shows Arthur’s progression over the last few days. Rain showers were already reaching the coast on Thursday morning:

Hurricane Arthur

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist who writes about weather and climate for Slate’s Future Tense. Follow him on Twitter.


War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The NFL Has No Business Punishing Players for Off-Field Conduct. Leave That to the Teams.

Meet the Allies the U.S. Won’t Admit It Needs in Its Fight Against ISIS

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Medical Examiner

How to Stop Ebola

Survivors might be immune. Let’s recruit them to care for the infected.


America in Africa

The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.

New GOP Claim: Hillary Clinton’s Wealth and Celebrity Are Tricks to Disguise Her Socialism

Why the Byzantine Hiring Process at Universities Drives Academics Batty

Sept. 23 2014 3:29 PM The Fascinating Origins of Savannah, Georgia’s Distinctive Typeface
  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 11:45 PM America in Africa The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 11:45 PM Why Your Cousin With a Ph.D. Is a Basket Case  Understanding the Byzantine hiring process that drives academics up the wall.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 23 2014 11:37 PM How to Stop Ebola Could survivors safely care for the infected?
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?