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Tropical Storm Arthur moves on, leaves hot, stormy July 4 forecast behind

A satellite image released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows the center of Tropical Storm Arthur off the east coast of Florida on Tuesday. [Associated Press]

A satellite image released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows the center of Tropical Storm Arthur off the east coast of Florida on Tuesday. [Associated Press]

As Tropical Storm Arthur moved away from Florida early Wednesday, forecasters warned of extreme heat and thunderstorms for the July Fourth holiday.

The storm picked up speed and was moving northwest with sustained winds of 60 mph, prompting hurricane watches and warnings in South and North Carolina.

Rain chances were reduced over the last several days as Arthur pulled dry winds into its rotation, but when it moves away the rain chances will return—just in time to douse your July Fourth celebrations.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's forecast, rip currents in the Gulf of Mexico will likely pose a threat to beach-goers this weekend, especially at low tide Thursday through Saturday.

Forecasters warned of the dangers of heat stroke as well. Heat indexes, or how hot it actually feels outside, will range between 100 and 105 degrees each afternoon.

And to cap it all off, excessive lightning is possible east of Interstate 75 each afternoon and evening starting Friday, forecasters said.

Elsewhere, Arthur is expected to quash even more holiday plans as it will likely strengthen into a hurricane by week's end. One National Hurricane Center model showed the storm moving northwest toward Georgia today, then turning northeast, reaching North and South Carolina between Thursday and Friday mornings.

A hurricane watch was issued for portions of North Carolina's Outer Banks about 5 a.m. Tuesday. The storm was expected to reach that area by the Fourth of July holiday.

Tropical Storm Arthur moves on, leaves hot, stormy July 4 forecast behind 07/02/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 2:10pm]

© 2014 Tampa Bay Times

    

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