Hurricane Arthur: Forecast to Reach Category 2 Storm; At Least 36 Counties in NC to be Affected; Thousands Relocate (PHOTOS)

By Esther Tanquintic-Misa
July 4, 2014 11:50 AM EST

Hurricane Arthur: Forecast to Reach Category 2 Storm; At Least 36 Counties in NC to be Affected; Thousands Relocate (PHOTOS)

Hurricane Arthur, the first hurricane of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, has forced the relocation of thousands in North Carolina as weather forecasters said it could reach Category 2 storm before it even makes landfall.

As of 7 pm CDT, Arthur's center was seen 45 miles east of Cape Fear, N.C., moving north-northeast at 15 mph. A Category 2 storm has winds from 96-110 mph.

On Thursday evening, hurricane warnings were issued along the North Carolina coast up to the Virginia border, while tropical storm warnings were issued as far north as Nantucket Island and Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

A report from said four refueling aircraft and more than 50 F-15 Strike Eagles have been moved from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to avoid possible high wind damage from Hurricane Arthur.

Mike Maze, a WRAL meteorologist, said many have left the coast area, heeding storm warnings. He said one viewer reported heavy traffic along U.S. Highway 70 in Goldsboro, the main highway between Morehead City and Raleigh.

Still, there are many who remained stubborn to warnings.

"It's fun, it's not that bad," a resident told NBC.

Storm surges as high as three to five feet could lash out areas in the Carolinas and Virginia, the National Hurricane Center said.

It noted the possibility of tornadoes in some areas. Parts of North Carolina could receive as much as six inches of rain.

Bob Robichaud, Canadian Hurricane Centre meteorologist, said hurricane Arthur will bring in a windy and wet weekend for Nova Scotia, as forecasters expect the system to weaken as it moves north and become a strong post-tropical storm when it strikes Canadian soil late Friday or early Saturday. 

"In terms of the worst wind, it looks like Nova Scotia and in terms of the worst rain it looks like New Brunswick," he told the Associated Press.

The U.S. Coast Guard light station located 34 miles off the North Carolina coast released this video (here) showing what Hurricane Arthur sounds like.

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