MIAMI (AP) – With a holiday weekend on the horizon, the National Hurricane Center says the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is gradually becoming more organized off Florida.
Tropical Storm Arthur formed Tuesday off the state’s central coast. A tropical storm watch is in effect from Fort Pierce to Flagler Beach, with tropical storm conditions possible through Wednesday afternoon.
The storm is moving northwest at 5 mph (7 kph). Forecasters expect Arthur’s center to remain just offshore and turn to the north and east into Wednesday. Forecasters predict rain across Florida and life-threatening surf and rip currents.
Maximum sustained winds Tuesday afternoon were about 40 mph (65 kph). The storm was centered about 90 miles (160 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Canaveral.
From Florida to the Carolinas, officials and hotel owners say they’re not yet seeing many vacation cancelations or other scrambling.