As Tropical Storm Arthur develops off Florida’s coast, AIR Worldwide isn’t predicting an major insurance damage. But small moves can mean big changes, the Boston-based catastrophe modeling firm said in a statement on Tuesday.

AIR noted that Arthur formed Tuesday morning off the east coast of Florida. As of the National Hurricane Center’s 11:00 am advisory on Tuesday, it was moving northwest at 2 mph.

AIR said the system could develop into a weak Category 1 hurricane later this week, with winds of approximately 75 mph, and that the storm could pass very close to or possibly make landfall along the Outer Banks of North Carolina early morning on Friday.

From there, the storm is forecast to continue moving northeast up the Eastern Seaboard and away from the region this weekend.

A mid-latitude low pressure system moving in from the west pushed the storm from a stationary position to the northwest.

Dr. Tim Doggett, assistant vice president and senior principal scientist at AIR Worldwide, said that the sensitivity of the storm track “to the timing of the mid-latitude low pressure, there is still significant uncertainty in both the track and intensity forecasts at this time.”

“Small deviations in position and intensity over the next 24 hours could have notable impacts on the forecast for later in the week, and thus should be watched carefully.”

According to AIR, if the storm makes landfall in or bypasses North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane, wind damage to most homes and businesses won’t be significant. In this situation, AIR experts that damage will consist of isolated instances of nonstructural damage to roof coverings and wall cladding, as well as windows if debris becomes airborne. There could also be damage to trees, utility poles, and signage.

A tropical storm watch is in effect from Fort Pierce north to just south of Flagler Beach on the east coast of Florida. This system is expected to bring bands of rain and strong wind gusts, along with the threat of elevated surf, rip currents, and minor coastal flooding as it tracks up the Eastern Seaboard from Florida to North Carolina and farther north this Fourth of July holiday week.

Heavy rains of two to four inches will likely affect the Northwest Bahamas and eastern coast of Florida Tuesday through Wednesday, with isolated pockets receiving up to six inches.

Source: AIR Worldwide

Topics Florida Catastrophe Natural Disasters Windstorm North Carolina