Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bolaris: Will Arthur fizzle the 4th?

An American flag passes through the parade route on Chestnut Street during the 2013 Fourth of July Parade in Philadelphia. Parades, fireworks displays, beach parties and Wawa Welcome America! festivities are all on tap for the July 4th weekend. ( ANDREW RENNEISEN / Staff Photographer/File)
An American flag passes through the parade route on Chestnut Street during the 2013 Fourth of July Parade in Philadelphia. Parades, fireworks displays, beach parties and Wawa Welcome America! festivities are all on tap for the July 4th weekend. ( ANDREW RENNEISEN / Staff Photographer/File)

The 4th of July weekend is rapidly approaching - but so is our first tropical storm of the season, which has formed off the Florida coast. 

Will it fizzle the fun for those at the Jersey Shore and Delaware beaches?

Tropical storm Arthur, born 11 a.m. Tuesday, is forecast to move northward and become the first hurricane of the season. Let's face it anytime you have a full-fledged hurricane hovering near the East coast, the concern bells go off especially during a huge holiday weekend.

However with that being said at this time I do not see a reason for anyone to panic or cancel your plans to head to the beach.

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  • Most computer models are in good agreement. Arthur should strike along the Eastern North Carolina coast by early Friday morning. But a rather pronounced curvature should keep him well off the coast of Delaware and Southern New Jersey during the day on Friday.

    The meteorological set-up: 

    Arthur begins moving more north today and will strengthen into a hurricane by Thursday. 

    Most computer models take Arthur across Eastern North Carolina coast by early Friday morning as a category 1 (winds 80mph). By about 2 p.m. Friday, Hurricane Arthur’s winds might increase to a strong CAT 1 (90-95 mph) as he passes about 100-150 miles East of Atlantic City. 

    The Impact: 

    If we were just dealing with a hurricane passing off shore we would actually just worry about rough surf and dangerous rip tides, but this is not the case. A very strong trough (cool front) will bang into the very unstable air mass created by a strong southwest flow and tropical moisture being drawn northward. The combination of the two will produce very heavy rain at times along with storms. 

    Flash flooding of streams and creeks possible by Thursday night along with plenty of street and highway flooding, especially across our northern and western suburbs. 

    The bulk of the heavy rain will take place Thursday afternoon and night. 

    This will lead to significant problems as far as travel goes on land and air. The rush to the shore could be more like a pub crawl. 

    The shore will get a double whammy, at the same time showers and storms move in, seas will start churning with rough surf and dangerous rip tides on Thursday night and Friday, but any rain should start pulling away along shore locations by Friday afternoon - as long as Arthur behaves himself and stays on its projected path. 

    FORECAST: 

    TODAY: Very hot and humid, scattered storms by afternoon with best chance towards evening. High 95. A heat advisory is in effect. 

    THURSDAY: Showers and storms, muggy with flooding possible, especially later in the day and at night. 

    FRIDAY: Hurricane Arthur should pass well east of New Jersey shore and any rain will end. Skies will clear in time for the fireworks. Highs will be in the 80s. 

    But remember: Dangerous rip tides and rough surf are in store for Friday and Saturday. By evening, conditions should be dry - just in time for fireworks. 

    SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: Plenty of sunshine. Highs in the 80s.

    John Bolaris For Philly.com
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