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Meet Arthur: First possible tropical storm of the season points to a wet 4th of July

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By Brian Kahn, Climate Central

It might not look like much now, but a messy storm system off the coast of Florida could put a damper on Fourth of July festivities along the East Coast if it pulls itself together to form the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Right now the system is a loose collection of thunderstorms sitting about 125 miles off Florida’s east coast. But according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, it has an 80 percent chance of attaining tropical storm strength within the next 48 hours. The most recent update from NHC said that hurricane hunter aircraft flew a reconnaissance mission to get a better handle on the storm’s strength. They found that it has sustained winds of 30-35 mph, a couple notches below the 39 mph threshold used to define tropical storms.

If it does become a tropical storm, it would be dubbed ‘Arthur.’ For now, though, it’s just “possibArthur” according to The Vane.

There are a number of factors that ultimately favor Arthur’s genesis. One is a stretch of warm, hurricane-friendly water from Florida to North Carolina that will help fuel the convection storms needed to attain tropical storm or hurricane status.

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Winds moving through the upper atmosphere are also lining up to aid in tropical storm formation. If those winds are too fast, they can tear apart a storm before it even forms. No such winds are currently blowing over the area or even nearby, giving the storm time to get organized.

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If Tropical Storm Arthur does form, its arrival and potential impacts could create a soggy Fourth of July weekend for millions along the Eastern Seaboard. Most models show the storm moving slowly southwest for the next 24 hours, putting it just off the coast of Florida. However, the storm is then projected to hook north and climb along the East Coast through Saturday.

How close it tracks to the coast will determine whether beachgoers and firework aficionados will get rained out.

Current forecasts indicate that the coastal areas of North Carolina and the Mid-Atlantic could see the heaviest rainfall, picking up as much as 3 inches of precipitation through Sunday. Much of that is forecast to come from the storm. The storm could also bring rain and high surf to New York by the weekend.

A precipitation forecast through Sunday, July 6. Much of the precipitation for coastal areas on the East Coast is due to possible Tropical Storm Arthur. Credit: NOAA

A precipitation forecast through Sunday, July 6. Much of the precipitation for coastal areas on the East Coast is due to possible Tropical Storm Arthur.
Credit: NOAA

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Hurricane season officially started on June 1. Though it might feel like a month is a long time to pass before the first tropical storm forms, it’s actually right on schedule. On average, the first named tropical storm of the season forms on July 9. And the first hurricane usually occurs on August 10, that according to NHC data from 1966-2009. So this year could be ever-so-slightly ahead of schedule if Arthur forms sometime this week.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting a near- to slightly below-average hurricane season this year. That’s due in part to the likely rise of El Niño, which creates those wind patterns that can tear apart a storm or prevent one from forming.

Story courtesy of Climate Central

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Soccer star slams Trump for attacking her teammate: He hates women he ‘cannot control or grope’

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On Wednesday, U.S. Women's Soccer champion Ali Krieger rebuked President Donald Trump for his attacks on her teammate Megan Rapinoe, saying that the president feels threatened by women that he "cannot control or grope":

In regards to the “President’s” tweet today, I know women who you cannot control or grope anger you, but I stand by @mPinoe & will sit this one out as well. I don’t support this administration nor their fight against LGBTQ+ citizens, immigrants & our most vulnerable.

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Justice Department sues Omarosa Manigault Newman over financial disclosures

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The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former contestant on "The Apprentice" who campaigned for President Donald Trump and later worked for him in the White House, alleging she failed to file a required public disclosure report after she left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, claims Manigault Newman "knowingly and willingly" failed to file the financial disclosure report after corresponding multiple times with attorneys for the White House. It accuses her of violating the Ethics in Government Act (EIGA) by not filing the report, which was required because her salary exceeded $124,406, despite several oral and written reminders from White House ethics lawyers.

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Retired admiral could pose serious threat if he decides to run against Iowa Republican: report

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On Wednesday, Iowa Starting Line reported that Ret. Adm. Michael Franken is in talks with state and national Democrats about challenging GOP Sen. Joni Ernst.

Franken, who has served as Deputy for Military Operations for AFRICOM, Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, and Chief of Legislative Affairs for the Department of the Navy, hails from Sioux Center, a town in the deeply conservative northwest part of the state.

Ernst, who first gained national attention for her 2014 campaign ad about castrating hogs, is a reliable vote for President Donald Trump in the Senate, and the president's poor approval ratings in Iowa have left Democrats hopeful that they can defeat her.

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