Tropical Storm Arthur inches closer to U.S. East Coast

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MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Arthur inched closer to the U.S. Atlantic seaboard on Sunday, although its impact was expected to be limited to some minor flooding and rough seas along the North Carolina coast.

Arthur formed Saturday off the coast of Florida, making this the sixth straight year for a named storm to develop before the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami issued a tropical storm warning for North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Sunday. Around 5 p.m. EDT, the storm’s center was located about 275 miles (440 kilometers) south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Arthur had top sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph) and was moving to the north-northeast at 9 mph (about 14 kph).

Forecasts say Arthur will stay well offshore of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina on Sunday and then approach the North Carolina coast, where 1 to 3 inches of rain is expected Sunday night and Monday.

The tropical storm warning was issued for parts of North Carolina’s coast, from Surf City to Duck, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Michael Lee, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Newport, North Carolina, said tropical storm-force winds will be possible along the coast, particularly in the Outer Banks.

“Otherwise, it’s going to be some heavy rainfall for a large part of eastern North Carolina,” Lee said. “But the main threat that we’re really trying to get out there is that there is enhanced risk for dangerous rip currents both today and tomorrow. So, any folks who want to try to go to the beach and get in the water, we have a high risk out for most of our beaches.”

The weather service said eastern North Carolina should prepare for some localized flooding and dangerous marine conditions…