Heavy rain, crashing waves as Tropical Storm Arthur passes North Carolina's coast

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— The heaviest impacts from Tropical Storm Arthur were hitting North Carolina’s coast Monday morning.

Wilmington and Carolina Beach began seeing heavy rain and crashing waves in the overnight hours as Arthur moved northeast. By 7 or 8 a.m., Emerald Isle and the Outer Banks were feeling the effects of the storm.

The 5 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center showed Arthur was 135 miles south of Cape Hatteras. The latest track shows the storm is heading northeast toward the Outer Banks at 14 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds at 45 mph and gusts of 60 mph.

WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said much of the rain from the storm has already passed Wilmington, and the Outer Banks will see the worst of Arthur Monday morning when the storm makes its closest pass to the coast. The system will stay offshore, bringing mostly beach erosion and mild damage to the Outer Banks, and it is not expected to impact the Triangle apart from a few spotty showers.

Gardner said tropical storm force winds could extend outward 90 miles from Arthur’s center. The storm’s impacts include strong rip currents, scattered storms winds between 35-45 mph and localized storm surge up to 2 feet. The Outer Banks can expect between 1-4 inches of rain.

Gardner said the Outer Banks could see impacts from Arthur through the afternoon before the storm pushes out to sea. “By lunchtime, it will be moving away, and by  8 p.m., the storm will be out of here,” she said.

Gardner said coastal homes should not be damaged by the storm, but beach erosion could occur. Swimmers and surfers should avoid the ocean Monday.

Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue Captain Tony Wallace said, despite coronavirus social distancing guidelines, officials made the decision to put a small number of lifeguards on the beach over the weekend.

What to expect: Monday

While the Triangle will only see light rain from Arthur, the cold front that will cause Arthur to turn east and move back out to the Atlantic will bring us more rain Monday night and much of the work week.

Tropical Storm Arthur is the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially begins June 1.