(WGHP) — The center of Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the year, is drawing closer to the North Carolina coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.
At about 5 a.m., NHC reported the storm was about 85 miles south of Morehead City with 45 mph sustained winds. It was heading north-northeast at 14 mph.
Tropical storm warnings are in place for Surf City north to Duck, and the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds.
The center of Arthur will approach the North Carolina coast “within the next few hours,” NHS said at 5 a.m.
NHC expected the storm to begin turning northeast later Monday before facing due east on Tuesday.
The hurricane center said the storm is likely to build strength during the next 48 hours but lose its tropical characteristics by Tuesday.
The storm may bring swells and “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”
Gov. Roy Cooper urged people along the North Carolina coast to pay close attention to Tropical Storm Arthur.
“Everyone in our coastal areas should remain aware and cautious as Arthur brushes our coast on Monday,” Cooper said. “Pay close attention to the forecast and don’t take chances in dangerous surf.”
The state’s preparedness website, ReadyNC.org, provides information about assembling a family emergency kit and preparing a family emergency plan.
This year, with the threat of the COVID-19 virus, people are urged to include items such as sanitizing wipes, masks and hand sanitizer.
When considering evacuation plans for this hurricane season, it’s better to plan to stay inland with a family member or friend or at a hotel instead of at an emergency shelter.