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Tropical Storm Arthur expected to crash July Fourth party

This Tuesday, July 1, 2014, satellite image released

This Tuesday, July 1, 2014, satellite image released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows the center of Tropical Storm Arthur off the east coast of Florida. Photo Credit: AP / NOAA

While Tropical Storm Arthur wasn't invited for the Fourth of July celebration this year, the first named storm of the season is expected to crash the party anyway.

The storm, which is expected to be a hurricane by Friday morning, will contribute to heavy rainfall Thursday into Friday and result in "strong and dangerous rip currents" for ocean beaches this weekend, forecasters said.

But, as of Tuesday afternoon, the strongest winds from Arthur were expected to stay far off shore. The major concern is a continuing elevated risk of rip currents along ocean-facing beaches, said Joe Pollina, National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton. Already Tuesday, a high rip current risk had been issued.

The storm is expected to track southeast of Long Island Friday night, after joining with another system heading for the region, with rainfall forecast to be its heaviest Thursday afternoon into Friday, meteorologists said.

Rainfall on the Island could be an average 1 to 2 inches, locally higher with thunderstorms, Pollina said, and is expected to continue through Friday.

"Tropical moisture" ahead of Arthur will interact with a system from the west to bring heavy rain potential. Flash flooding is possible Thursday into Thursday night, the service said.

Wednesday and Thursday are expected to be in the low- to mid-80s, Pollina said, and in the upper 70s on Friday, low 80s for Saturday and upper 70s to lower 80s for Sunday.

Arthur is also a "rather atypical," system to be forming so early in the season, Pollina said. In a 159-year time frame, "only two [named] storms have formed off the coast of Florida like Arthur from the July 1-10 time period," he said.

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story, one of the associated headlines incorrectly stated that Arthur, the first named tropical storm of the season, would hit Long Island Thursday. The storm is forecast to track to the southeast of Long Island on Friday night. Also, as of Tuesday’s forecast, tropical moisture preceding Arthur was expected to mix with a system from the west, contributing to heavy rain Thursday into Friday. The earlier version described that process incorrectly.

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