At 5 AM, Hurricane Arthur was categorized as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. The storm is located 340 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and moving to the north at 10 mph.
Arthur is forecast to turn to the northeast with an increase in forward speed today.
On its current projected track, Arthur would pass about 100 miles to the southeast of Nantucket late Friday into early Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane.
Nantucket and the outer Cape remain within the ‘cone of error’ for Arthur’s track.
If Arthur follows its current projected track, hurricane and tropical storm force winds would remain over the ocean and the greatest threats to Massachusetts would be heavy rain, particularly in the eastern and southeastern parts of the state, dangerous rip currents along south and east facing beaches, and dangerous seas for mariners.
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In Boston, the usual July 4 festivities, the concert and fireworks on the Esplanade/Charles River, will be held tonight, July 3.
The security areas on the Esplanade (the Oval and the Lagoon) will open to the public at 5 p.m. today.
Storrow Drive in Boston will close in both directions at noon today. The Massachusetts Avenue Bridge and Memorial Drive in Cambridge will close at 6 p.m. today.
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The National Weather Service in Taunton forecasts that showers and thunderstorms are expected this afternoon in southeastern Massachusetts.
Heavy rain and severe thunderstorms along with frequent lightning and damaging winds are expected. Localized flash flooding from heavy rains is possible, particularly in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties where Flash Flood Watches have been posted.
There may be a period of clearing this evening, particularly in eastern Massachusetts.
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The National Weather Service has posted Flash Flood Warnings for Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden Counties from noon today through this evening.
The National Weather Service in Albany forecasts that its entire service area, including Berkshire County, is at risk of severe thunderstorms throughout today.
Any thunderstorms that occur may produce damaging winds, frequent lightning, heavy rainfall capable of causing flash flooding, and large hail.
Total rainfall today could exceed one inch. There is a slight risk of tornados this afternoon and evening.