Tropical Storm Warning issued for Grand Strand

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.

Based on the forecast track of Arthur, winds could gust around 45 mph on the beaches with bands of showers and storms from late morning through the afternoon.

As of 11pm Wednesday, T.S. Arthur had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph with higher gusts and is slowly moving north at 8 mph.

Radar and Hurricane Hunter data show that Arthur is strengthening and is expected to become a hurricane by 5am Thursday.

Horry County moved into Operating Condition Level 4 (OPCON 4) in preparation for the storm, according to a news release sent Monday.

"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.