Hurricane Arthur expected to bring wet, windy weather for July 4th

Weather forecasters predict a close brush with Martha’s Vineyard late Friday, but the Island will escape the worst of the storm.

A view of Hurricane Arthur from the International Space Station. — Photo courtesy of NASA

Hurricane Arthur, the first named storm of the summer season, is moving quickly up the east coast, and is expected to bring heavy rain to Martha’s Vineyard beginning Friday evening, July 4th. The storm could dump 2 to 4 inches of rain on the region in 24 hours, producing flash flooding in some areas. The weather service also advises swimmers to beware of dangerous rip currents along ocean beaches through the holiday weekend.

The current National Weather Service forecast calls for winds building to 31 to 36 miles per hour by Friday evening, then decreasing through the day Saturday, and clearing by Saturday night, just in time for the Edgartown fireworks.

The weather service calculates a 30 to 40 percent chance the Island could experience tropical storm conditions, with sustained winds higher than 39 miles per hour. While the National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will be losing strength by the time it brushes Cape Cod and the Islands late Friday Evening, Arthur will still be rated as a hurricane, with winds greater than 74 miles per hour near the eye of the storm.