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Tropical Storm Arthur (2020)

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Tropical Storm Arthur
Tropical storm (SSHWS/NWS)
Arthur 2020-05-18 1605Z.jpg
Arthur at its strongest near North Carolina on May 18
FormedMay 16, 2020 (May 16, 2020)
DissipatedMay 21, 2020 (May 21, 2020)
(Extratropical after May 19)
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 60 mph (95 km/h)
Lowest pressure990 mbar (hPa); 29.23 inHg
FatalitiesNone
Damage$112,000 (2020 USD)
Areas affectedCuba, South Florida, The Bahamas, North Carolina, Bermuda
Part of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Storm Arthur was a strong tropical storm. It did not last very long. It also did not take place during the usual storm season. It affected the U.S state of North Carolina in May 2020. Arthur was the first named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane year. With Arthur, 2020 became the sixth year in a row when a tropical cyclone formed in the Atlantic before June, or when the official hurricane season starts. Tropical Storm Arthur came from a big trough that formed on May 14 near Cuba. The early part of the storm system slowly drifted toward Florida through the Florida Strait for two days. Later, it became a depression on May 16 north of The Bahamas. This started the Atlantic storm season. One day later, the system was named "Arthur" and it slowly moved north towards North Carolina. Arthur started to weaken as it moved towards Bermuda.

Tropical Storm Arthur rained on Florida and made high ocean waves. Arthur's outer areas rained and blew strong winds near North Carolina's beaches and caused dangerous rip currents along the southeastern coast of the United States.

Storm history[change | change source]

Arthur's path as a storm

On May 12, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) first said it was likely a tropical storm would form near Cuba.[1] By May 13, there were more thunderstorms than usual in Cuba, and the NHC said there was a 70% chance of a tropical storm in the next five days.[2][3][4]

The NHC named it Tropical Depression One on May 16.[5] They called it tropical because of the way it turned around.[5]

The NHC named the system Tropical Storm Arthur early on May 17 because people on an airplane had measured the wind. They said it was strong enough to be named.[6] Arthur mostly moved north and in the Atlantic Ocean, not too close to the Florida and Georgia.[7] However, Arthur started moving northeast over colder waters.[8] Even though Arthur was moving over cold water, it still became stronger, even though it was smaller in images.[9][10] [11] As Arthur became stronger, its center moved onto the coast of North Carolina, a few miles southeast of Cape Hatteras.[12] Then Arthur moved away from North and South Carolina, and it started to be less organized.[13] However, the storm continued to become stronger. Early on May 19, Arthur had its lowest air pressure of 990 mb (29 inHg) and its winds were strongest at 60 mph (95 km/h).[14] Six hours later, the storm was no longer tropical.[15] Arthur finally dissipated on May 21, 5 days after it became a depression.

Preparations and impact[change | change source]

Caribbean[change | change source]

Arthur rained a lot on Cuba on May 15. In some parts of Cuba, there were almost 3 inches in only four hours. The rain damaged homes and flooded streets.[16] Arthur also damaged buildings in the Bahamas, which had already been hit by Hurricane Dorian one year before. Arthur caused floods and blew away tents that people were living in while they were rebuilding their homes.[17] However, Arthur's strongest winds blew over the ocean, where there were no buildings to blow down.[18]

United States[change | change source]

Florida[change | change source]

Radar mosaic of Arthur
Arthur at its closest to North Carolina

Arthur was not a tropical storm until after it reached Florida. When it was in Florida, it was a system. Still, Arthur dropped a lot of rain and wind on Florida on May 13 and 14. It dropped over 4 inches (101.6 mm) of rain on parts of Florida and a rainfall total of 5.35 in (135.8 mm) fell on May 14, where it was the tenth highest amount of rain for the city ever.[19][20] Flash flood warnings were created for large portions of Miami-Dade County on May 14. In Miami, streets were flooded from the rain.[21] High-speed winds made officials use gale warnings and special marine warnings across most of South Florida.[22] Seventy people in Volusia County had to be rescued after being caught in rip currents. Three of them had to go to the hospital.[23] Purple and red flags were raised along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina to tell people about the rip currents.[24] Offshore Georgia, 3-6 ft (0.9-1.8 m) waves were seen.[25] Arthur did $112,000 of damage to Florida.[26]

North Carolina[change | change source]

Arthur also went to North Carolina as a tropical storm. On May 16, tropical storm watches were issued from Surf City to Duck (a city) and Pamlico Sound to Albemarle Sound.[27] A day later, these watches were upgraded to tropical storm warnings as Arthur moved closer towards the Outer Banks.[28] By late May 17, the water in the southern portion of the Outer Banks had become dangerous.[29] Torrential rainfall occurred as Arthur's outer rainbands were near eastern North Carolina,[30] with 4.92 in (125 mm) of rain falling in Newport, North Carolina within 6 hours, and many other locations recording at least 3 in (76 mm) of rain from the storm.[31] Tropical storm-force wind in Cape Hatteras were also recorded. Despite this, the strongest winds were kept off land. This is because Arthur was an uneven storm.[32][30] Waves as high as 12.5 ft (3.8 m) were recorded along the coast of the Outer Banks from Arthur.[33] Due to flooding from Arthur, many highways in the Outer Banks and into mainland North Carolina were closed.[34] SpaceX also had to delay the launch of a few Starlink internet satellites because of bad weather from Arthur affecting them.[35] As Arthur moved away from land, warnings were canceled.[36]

Other places in the United States[change | change source]

In James City County, Virginia, flooding near the ocean was seen in some places.[37] In south New Jersey, Arthur caused floods, even though it was not a tropical storm then. There were also strong winds on the Jersey Shore. Power lines were blown down. On the Atlantic City Expressway and other roads, trees had fallen.[38]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Special Tropical Weather Outlook 1005 AM EDT Tue May 12 2020". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  2. "Special Tropical Weather Outlook Special Tropical Weather Outlook". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  3. "Special Tropical Weather Outlook 725 PM EDT Wed May 13 2020". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on July 2, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  4. "NHC Graphical Outlook Archive". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Cangialosi, John. "Tropical Depression One Discussion Number 1". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  6. Stewart, Stacy. "Tropical Storm Arthur Discussion Number 2". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  7. Pasch, Richard. "Tropical Storm Arthur Intermediate Advisory Number 2A". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  8. Pasch, Richard. "Tropical Storm Arthur Discussion Number 3". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  9. Brown, Daniel. "Tropical Storm Arthur Discussion Number 4". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on June 7, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  10. Brown, Daniel. "Tropical Storm Arthur Discussion Number 8". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  11. Brown, Daniel. "Tropical Storm Arthur Advisory Number 10". Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  12. Stewart, Stacy (May 18, 2020). "Tropical Storm Arthur Advisory Number 8". Archived from the original on June 5, 2020. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  13. "Tropical Storm Arthur Forecast Discussion Number 9". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Archived from the original on June 7, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  14. "Arthur TCR" (PDF). National Hurricane Center. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  15. Blake, Eric. "Post-Tropical Cyclone Arthur Discussion Number 12". National Hurricane Center. Archived from the original on June 4, 2020. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  16. "Lluvias intensas provocan inundaciones en Bayamo". ADN Cuba (in Spanish). Archived from the original on May 20, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  17. "Tropical weather conditions expected to hit Grand Bahama". www.tribune242.com. Archived from the original on May 22, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  18. Norcross, Bryan (2020-05-15). "Messy system near South Florida still forecast to organize". WPLG. Archived from the original on May 21, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  19. "First Depression or Storm of 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Possibly Arthur, To Form Off Southeast Coast This Weekend". The Weather Channel. Archived from the original on May 16, 2020.
  20. "The rainfall record in #MarathonFL was crushed today! As of 6 pm, 5.35" had been recorded, which is over 4" more than the previous record of 1.20" set in 1988! It's also the 2nd wettest day in May and the 10th wettest day ever. #flwx #FloridaKeys #KeyWest #RecordRainfall #weatherpic.twitter.com/SosQ92zOpm". @NWSKeyWest. 2020-05-14. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  21. Meteorologist, Allison Chinchar, CNN. "Arthur, the first named storm of the hurricane season, could form Saturday". CNN. Archived from the original on May 18, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  22. Cohen, Howard. "Flood and wind advisories issued for South Florida, and the storms could spawn tornadoes". The Miami Herald. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  23. "This year's first Atlantic storm Arthur will bring high surf, strong winds and heavy rains to the North Carolina coast". www.wrcbtv.com. Archived from the original on May 23, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  24. "Tropical Storm Arthur Churning Off Georgia Coast". 2020-05-18. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  25. "Wetter weather returns this week!". www.wtoc.com. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  26. "[Florida Event Reports for May 14–18, 2020]". National Centers for Environmental Information. 2020. Archived from the original on September 13, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  27. Cangialosi, John. "Tropical Depression One Advisory Number 1". Archived from the original on June 4, 2020.
  28. "Tropical Storm Arthur Advisory Number 3". Archived from the original on June 5, 2020.
  29. "Tropical Storm Arthur crawls closer to North Carolina coast". The Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 18, 2020.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Cappucci, Matthew (2020-05-18). "Tropical Storm Arthur lashes Outer Banks with heavy rain, high surf". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on May 25, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  31. "Public Information Statement: PRECIPITATION REPORTS 1055 AM EDT Mon May 18 2020". National Weather Service. Archived from the original on April 26, 2020.
  32. "Public Information Statement: HIGHEST WIND REPORTS 237 PM EDT Mon May 18 2020". National Weather Service. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016.
  33. "Tropical Storm Arthur flirts with landfall over NC Outer Banks" (May 18, 2020). AccuWeather. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  34. "Tropical Storm Arthur hits North Carolina coast with rain". The Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 3, 2020.
  35. May 2020, Chelsea Gohd 18. "SpaceX postpones Starlink satellite fleet launch due to Tropical Storm Arthur". Space.com. Archived from the original on May 20, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  36. "Tropical storm warning lifted as Arthur moves away from North Carolina's Outer Banks". The News & Observer. Archived from the original on September 19, 2020.
  37. Event: Coastal Flood in James City County, Virginia (Report). National Centers for Environmental Information. May 19, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  38. Martucci, Joe (May 19, 2020). "Wind Damage Happening in South Jersey, Coastal Concerns Remain". The Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved November 19, 2020.