Hurricane Arthur Intensifying as it Approaches North Carolina ~Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground
Hurricane warnings are flying for most of the North Carolina coast as Hurricane Arthur accelerates north-northeastwards. Arthur is the first Atlantic July hurricane since Hurricane Alex of 2010, and arrives over a month prior to the typical August 10 arrival of the season’s first hurricane. Heavy rains from the intensifying hurricane have already begun this morning along the southern North Carolina coast at Wilmington, and will spread northeastwards along the North Carolina coast today. Long-range radar out of Wilmington shows that Arthur has developed an imposing area of heavy rains, and is expanding in size. The Hurricane Hunters were in Arthur this morning, and an Air Force aircraft measured a minimum pressure of 983 mb at 7:03 am EDT. At 7:36 am EDT, a NOAA aircraft measured 82 mph winds at the surface using a dropsonde, but stronger winds of 109 mph were recorded just 110 meters above the surface. The Air Force aircraft noted that the eyewall had a gap in the southwest quadrant, so Arthur is still having issues with dry air infiltrating its core. Satellite loops on Thursday morning showed a much more impressive storm than yesterday, with a large area of intense thunderstorms with cold cloud tops, and an intermittent eye. An excellent outflow channel has developed on the east side, but outflow is still restricted on the west side, where dry air is interfering with the storm. Wind shear continued to be a light 5 – 10 knots. Arthur is riding along the axis of the Gulf Stream, taking advantage of the narrow ribbon of very warm waters the current carries. Read more.