In a case of very bad timing, Hurricane Arthur will bring dangerous surf and a period of wet weather to many Atlantic coast beaches during the Fourth of July. In much of the Northeast, the surf will remain rough on Saturday.
Millions of people from Daytona Beach, Florida, to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Wildwood, New Jersey; the Hamptons, New York; and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, will be impacted on their vacation during part of this week.
Even though the track of Arthur will take the center east of most beaches Thursday, Friday and Saturday, winds offshore will create large swells which will propagate onshore in the form of powerful waves as well as frequent, strong rip currents.
People are urged to obey restrictions on the beach and in the surf this weekend. Failure to do so may put not only themselves at risk but also their would-be rescuers.
“A storm is tremendous in what it can do to the shore and how dangerous it can become to swimmers,” American Lifeguard Association National Spokesperson Wyatt Werneth said. “Rip currents are strongest when the tide is coming in and the wind is onshore.”
The surf will continue to build through Friday along much of the East coast as Arthur strengthens and spins northward.
Surf conditions and seas will remain rough Saturday from the Delmarva Peninsula to New Jersey, Long Island and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
With the approach and passage of Arthur, pleasure boaters should check for the latest advisories and warnings. People should consider keeping their craft in port or remaining within the protection of the Intracoastal Waterway. The latest information on Arthur, including watches, warnings and advisories can be found on the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center.
Gusty squalls will reach the coastal areas from the upper South Carolina coast and will spread northward over eastern North Carolina into Thursday night. Typical summertime drenching storms are possible through Friday over Florida.
The worst weather and the greatest risk of heavy rain and gusty winds in eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey will be late Thursday into Friday morning.
In the coastal areas of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, there is the risk of flooded roadways, damaging gusts and blinding downpours in squalls. The power could go out in some communities.
The combination of storm surge and tides will produce a coastal inundation of 1-3 feet with localized inundation of 4 feet from North Carolina to southeastern Virginia. Arthur may have enough impact on parts of this area for officials to prompt mandatory evacuations. Hyde County, North Carolina, officials have issued a mandatory evacuation for Hatteras Island.
Farther north from Long Island to the southern New England beaches, drenching downpours and gusty winds are forecast Thursday night into Friday night. There is a risk of flash flooding in this area with minor coastal flooding possible on portions of Long Island and Cape Cod.
The worst weather will end prior to the surf subsiding, so many will still be able to enjoy their stay at the beach safely, as long as they observe surf restrictions set forth by authorities.
Sunshine will return to South Carolina on Friday morning, and clearing will expand northeastward to eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula Friday afternoon and evening.
During Saturday and Sunday, the sun will be shining on most areas from the Carolinas to southeastern New England with a dramatic drop in humidity.
After tropical moisture and a front bring the risk of flooding downpours and gusty thunderstorms into part of the Fourth of July, clearing is forecast in time for fireworks from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, and New York City. However, the prospect of rain has pushed the Boston show forward to Thursday night. However, thunderstorms are possible Thursday night in eastern New England.
There is a risk of typical spotty thunderstorms lingering into the evening around Florida for fireworks locations such as Walt Disney World.
Continued Coverage at AccuWeather: Arthur to Crash Atlantic Coast July Fourth Beach Vacations