The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) said Tuesday that it is monitoring Tropical Storm Arthur, although forecasters believe the storm’s center will stay offshore when it passes the Palmetto State.
SCEMD increased its state of operational readiness to Condition 4 (OPCON) Tuesday evening. OpCon4 is the second lowest of five operational conditions. Personnel representing key state response agencies were notified to review plans and procedures and are on-call if needed.
Arthur, the 2014 season’s first named storm, was recorded with maximum sustained winds of 45 knots, according the National Weather Service. The National Hurricane Center predicts Arthur will upgrade to a hurricane by the time it passes South Carolina on Thursday, but most forecasts have the storm’s center remaining a few hundred miles off the coast.
The Grand Strand is expected to receive rain and possible storm surges, but should avoid the hurricane itself. Forecasters are warning that winds could be at least 70 miles per hour by the time the storm reaches the Outer Banks.
Emergency Management officials are warning coastal residents potentially vulnerable areas to consider any actions they would need to take if the storm does shift course and threaten South Carolina. The public, especially those living in low-lying areas along the coast, can monitor the storm on NOAA weather radio.