Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A tropical storm watch is in effect for part of the South Carolina coast in preparation for Tropical Storm Arthur, which continues to lumber toward the north.
Currently, the storm's maximum sustained winds stand at 60 miles an hour. It is now moving toward the north at just seven miles an hour.
INTERACTIVE: WLTX Hurricane Tracking Map
There's been little change in the thinking of what Arthur will eventually do for the rest of the week. A combination of a mid-level trough and a subtropical ridge east of the Carolinas is expected to pull the storm on northern track past Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. It will then rapidly accelerate to the northeast as it eventually pushes out to sea.
The various computer models continue to be in good agreement about this scenario.
While it's not expected to push inland into the United States, Arthur could bring showers and storms to the coastline of the Carolinas, and there's a chance it could brush the extreme eastern portion of North Carolina, including the Outer Banks.
By the time it reaches North Carolina on Friday, forecasters expect it to be a hurricane.
In South Carolina, a tropical storm watch is in effect for Little River Inlet at the North Carolina/South Carolina border down to the South Santee River between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. A hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning are in effect for most of the North Carolina coast.
Tropical storm watches now extend from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Wilmington, North Carolina with tropical storm conditions expected in the next 48 hours. A hurricane watch is out for coastal parts of North Carolina, including the Outer Banks.
So what can the state of South Carolina expect? Right now, it appears a combination of rain and moderate wind will be the effects we'll see.
"Thursday will be our best chance for any rain," says News19 Chief Meteorologist Jim Gandy. "One of the things we will be watching are winds. We expect the strongest winds to be in the Grand Strand area. Probably Thursday afternoon you might see a wind gust of 40, maybe outside 50 miles an hour (near Myrtle Beach). It depends on how close the system comes to the coast. But that's where it's going to be the windiest."
He said the highest winds for the Midlands could come after the storm moves by our coastline, when gusts could reach 25 miles an hour in the center of the state.
We'll continue to monitor the progress of this tropical system as any change in the movement or strength may impact our weather even here in the Midlands.
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