Hurricane Arthur passing the Grand Strand

Hurricane Arthur is about 60 miles off the coast of Myrtle Beach as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Chief Meteorologist Ed Piotrowski says the potential for wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour is greatest over the next few hours along the coast.

As of 5 p.m., Hurricane Arthur has yet to have a recorded gust over 40 miles per hour.

After around 8 p.m. tonight, the Grand Strand will start to see diminishing winds and decreasing rainfall.

At 5 a.m. Thursday Arthur was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center has Horry and Georgetown counties under a Tropical Storm Warning and has issued a Hurricane Warning for part of the North Carolina coast, including the Outer Banks.

A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the warning area generally within 24 hours.

Horry County moved into Operating Condition Level 4 (OPCON 4) in preparation for the storm on Monday, and remained at that level as of 2 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release.

"OPCON 4 puts Horry County on "Alert" status, which means that county officials have begun discussions with South Carolina Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, and other coastal communities," according to the release.

The Horry County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is not active.

Georgetown County government also moved to OPCON 4 at 2 p.m. Tuesday. They are also operating on an "Alert" status and have not made the Georgetown County Emergency Operations Center active.

We can expect any impacts from this system Thursday into Thursday night, although rip currents will last through early Friday, according to Piotrowski.

Read his thoughts on his WPDE Tropical Update Blog here.

Additional hurricane information can be found on Horry County Emergency Management's website.