Could Tropical Storm Arthur rain on parade?

Talk about raining on our parade. While it is still too early to tell, Arthur could be the ultimate killjoy Friday. A tropical system is developing off the east coast of Florida that is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Arthur and drift northward, potentially impacting Southern New England — including Bristol — on Friday.

"The system, which is forecast to become a tropical storm, will hug the coast and could even make landfall in North Carolina before turning out to the Northeast late in the week," writes Accuweather forecaster Dan Kottlowski. "As the dry air and wind shear diminish at midweek, there will be room for the system to organize, strengthen and drift northward."

The forecast calls for the disturbance to strengthen into a tropical storm sometime in the next two days, potentially making landfall in North Carolina's Outer Banks Wednesday into Thursday, before heading up the coast and possibly affecting Southern New England's weather Friday.

"The worst conditions are likely to be Friday over Long Island and perhaps as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts," the Accuweather forecast reads. "There is a possibility of heavy rain, gusty thunderstorms and building surf."

Local forecasts call for the chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday into Saturday. While hurricane force winds are unlikely, according to WPRI Channel 12 forecaster T.J. Del Santo, rain, wind and dangerous surf are possible, and the storm "is something to watch carefully through the week."

Local forecaster Fred Campagna, president of Right Weather LLC,  reports that a cold front forecast to settle over the Bristol area Thursday and Friday — which itself is expected to produce scattered showers and thunderstorms — will help steer Arthur to the Northeast. While a direct hit on Southern New England is unlikely as the storm should pass east of Nantucket, he said, it could produce heavy downpours and thunderstorms in the area Friday.

It is too early to know whether the storm will impact Bristol's 4th of July celebration. Should the storm threaten Bristol later in the week, Bristol Police Chief Josue Canario, Fire Chief Robert Martin and Town Manager Antonio Teixeira would meet to determine whether the parade can safely step off at 10:30 a.m. Friday, according to 4th of July Committee General Chairman Ray Lavey.

"If it's raining, the parade still goes on," Mr. Lavey said. "If there are high winds or downed power lines or anything dangerous, obviously it would be canceled."

There are no contingency plans should the weather force the parade's cancelation, Mr. Lavey said.

Stick with and the Bristol Phoenix for updated information on the storm as it becomes available.



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