15 July 2002

First Tropical Storm of the season forms off the US east coast.

The circulation down by Florida I had been mentioning dissipated and
moved inland.  However, an area of disturbed weather surprised lots of
folks by rapidly developing and acquiring tropical characteristics just
miles off the North Carolina coast.  It was classified as Tropical
Depression 1 at 21Z on Sunday with a 1009mb central pressure and a
forecast for gradual intensification.

Then, at 15Z today (11am Eastern), TD1 was upgraded to Tropical Storm
Arthur based on ship and buoy reports.  At 15Z, Arthur was located at
36.4N 69.7W and moving ENE at 20kts... away from the mainland.  Minimum
central pressure was 1001mb and maximum sustained winds were 45kts. 
Little change is intensity is forecast, but recent developments seen in
satellite imagery suggest the storm may be becoming better organized.

Although the storm is in fairly strong westerly shear (as evident by the
CDO being displaced east of the low-level center), new deep convection
is blowing up on the west side of the CDO (-75C cloud tops).

TS Arthur is not threatening any land in the near future.  In 2-3 days,
southeast Canada may need to watch out, but for now, let's just enjoy
the action.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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