As of 8:00am Thursday, Arthur continues to strengthen. It was upgraded at 5am from a tropical storm to a category 1 hurricane.
Hurricane Arthur has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph with higher gusts and is moving north-northeast at 9 mph.
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.
However, Chief Meteorologist Ed Piotrowski says the wind and rain we're expecting in our area on Thursday will be no worse than a typical summer thunderstorm. In other words, scattered showers and storms with wind gusts to 45 mph on the beaches.
Ed says heavier bands of showers/storms may produce 1" - 2" of rain along the Grand Strand Thursday and less farther inland
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.