What You Need to Know About Hurricane Arthur, the July Fourth Party-Crasher

Hurricane Arthur is bearing down on North Carolina.

Arthur has reached hurricane status. NOAA

This story originally appeared in Slate and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

July 3, 12:30 pm: 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, DC, 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
More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate