Arthur gains hurricane strength, but Greenwich’s weekend forecast is good

Arthur now is a hurricane, having sustained winds of 75 mph as it heads toward the North Carolina coast tonight.

The National Weather Service (NWS) declared Arthur a hurricane at 5 a.m. this morning. It had been a tropical storm. “Some additional strengthening is forecast in the next 24 hours,” the NWS said.

Most of the northern Outer Banks of North Carolina is under a Hurricane Watch, with local officials issuing mandatory evacuations for some parts of the Carolina coast.

Rip currents are a concern here

Arthur is expected to move up the East Coast and turn more easterly, meaning landfall in New England is unlikely. Instead, the major impact on New England will be rip currents, with swimmers in Long Island Sound and all along the Atlantic Coast being warned to be extremely careful if venturing into the water over the holiday weekend.

The biggest impact of Arthur in New England will be in far eastern Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and the Islands, where some hurricane-like effects may be felt.

 Saturday and Sunday look great

Locally in southwestern Connecticut, Thursday and Friday should bring rain, including the chance of severe thunderstorms. The skies should begin to clear up on late Friday.

There is no indication yet that Friday’s forecast will impact the planned 9 a.m. Town Hall ceremony to mark Independence Day. The annual ceremony will feature a salute to Greenwich’s Revolutionary War heroes, a display of the original American flag and the flags of the 13 colonies and awards to Greenwich students for being good citizens. The weather forecast, however, is expected to be excellent for Saturday night’s fireworks displays at dusk at Greenwich Point and Binney Park.

Saturday and Sunday both look like beautiful days, with lots of sun, highs in the low 80s, and lower humidity. Many local fireworks displays have been postponed to Saturday night, which looks to be an ideal evening.

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