Tropical Storm Arthur strengthens as watches issued for Carolina - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Tropical Storm Arthur strengthens as watches issued for Carolina coast

These graphics show probabilities of sustained (1-minute average) surface wind speeds equal to or exceeding 39 mph (tropical storm force). These wind speed probability graphics are based on the official National Hurricane Center track. (Source NWS) These graphics show probabilities of sustained (1-minute average) surface wind speeds equal to or exceeding 39 mph (tropical storm force). These wind speed probability graphics are based on the official National Hurricane Center track. (Source NWS)
Though it may not be safe, surfers took to the waves of Cocoa Beach, FL, on Wednesday. (Source: WKMG/CNN) Though it may not be safe, surfers took to the waves of Cocoa Beach, FL, on Wednesday. (Source: WKMG/CNN)

(RNN) – Sustained winds for Tropical Storm Arthur increased overnight to 60 mph, and the storm was expected to become a hurricane as early as Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

At 5 a.m. ET, the storm was moving north at 6 mph and was located 90 miles east-southeast of Cape Canaveral, FL, according to the NWS.

New watches were issued with the 5 a.m. advisory. A hurricane watch was issued Wednesday morning from Bogue Inlet, NC, to Oregon Inlet, NC. The watch includes Pamlico Sound.

A tropical storm watch was placed in effect from South Santee River, SC, to south of Bogue Inlet, NC, and from north of Oregon Inlet to the North Carolina/Virginia border. This storm watch includes Eastern Albemarle Sound.

In Florida, a tropical storm watch remained in effect from Sebastian Inlet to Flagler Beach.

Arthur was expected to strengthen into a weak hurricane off the East Coast before becoming an extra-tropical system near Nova Scotia.

Arthur was the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. A tropical storm is a system of winds between 39 mph and 73 mph.

The storm’s current predictive track calls for the storm to turn generally northward before taking a turn northeast, making its way up the Atlantic coast through the week as it gains strength and speed.

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