A tropical depression that formed near Florida on Saturday was expected to strengthen into a tropical storm on Sunday, but the strengthening occurred earlier than anticipated. So, shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday, the system known as Tropical Depression One officially was upgraded to Tropical Storm Arthur — the first named storm of the year in the Atlantic hurricane basin.
Although the tropical storm is forecast to remain offshore in the Atlantic Ocean, it could bring rough surf and play a role in coastal flooding along parts of the Jersey Shore, forecasters said.
“Direct impacts are not expected here, but it may contribute to rough seas and a coastal flood risk later this week,” the National Weather Service’s regional forecast office in New Jersey said in a post on Twitter Saturday night.
After being treated to two summer-like days with bright sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70s to mid-80s, New Jersey will see a return to spring on Sunday, with partly sunny skies and temperatures mainly in the 60s and close to 70 degrees in some spots in the afternoon.
More clouds will build at night, with a chance of isolated to scattered rain showers, the National Weather Service said.
A stalled frontal system could bring scattered rain showers on Monday, and clouds associated with the tropical storm could bring mostly cloudy skies and occasional rain to New Jersey on Tuesday or Wednesday, forecasters said.
More cloudy, rainy weather is expected later next week as we approach Memorial Day weekend — although that forecast is far from being locked in.
Status of tropical storm
As of 8 p.m. Saturday, the then-tropical depression was located about 175 miles east-northeast of Melbourne, Florida and about 460 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. The system was moving northeast at a pace of 14 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
Update: Shortly before 11 p.m., a reconnaissance plane found the depression had strengthened into a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. The storm’s center was located about 190 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida and about 420 miles south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina,
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Surf City to Duck, North Carolina, Pamlico Sound and Albemarle Sound. A watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within those areas, generally within 48 hours.
The hurricane center said a tropical storm warning could be required for portions of the watch area by Sunday morning.
Len Melisurgo may be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com.
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