Tropical Storm Arthur could affect region

With the 11 a.m. advisory the National Hurricane Center declared that the swirling mass off Cape Canaveral has become Tropical Storm Arthur.

Its maximum winds were 40 m.p.h., a mere 1 m.p.h. above the minimum for a storm to earn a name.

Tropical-storm watches are up for the Florida east coast, and the latest track map has Arthur approaching the Outer Banks as a hurricane Friday morning, as in July Fourth, with 80  m.p.h. winds.

Sorry, vacationers.

No 80 m.p.h. winds are expected around there, but after a pulse of heat the next two days, Arthur could interact with a front to generate heavy rains Thursday and Thursday night, with showers possibly lingering into the Fourth.

Based on hurricane climatology, this is just about the time that the first named storm should appear.

The consensus among forecasters is that tropical-storm and hurricane numbers should be a bit below normal this year.