Hurricane Arthur was preparing to rain on a lot of Independence Day parades as it dashed towards the North Carolina coast in early July, 2014. The storm, which made landfall at 11:15 p.m. EDT July 3 (0315 UTC July 4) between Cape Lookout and Beaufort, North Carolina, was the earliest hurricane to hit North Carolina since records began in 1851, and the first Category 2 hurricane in the United States since Ike in 2008.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a true-color image of Arthur on July 3 at 1620 UTC (12:20 p.m. EDT). At that time, maximum sustained winds were about 90 mph (144 km/h), making it a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The large eye remains cloud filled at that time, and the storm exhibited the tight apostrophe shape that generally signals a strengthening storm. Rain bands extend over southeastern coastal North Carolina.
Arthur began as an area of low pressure over the southeastern United States which emerged into the western Atlantic Ocean on June 28. It strengthened and organized, and was named as a tropical depression on July 1, then rapidly strengthened to tropical storm status that afternoon. By July 3 Arthur had reached hurricane status, and late that day attained peak winds of 100 mph (161 km/h), making it a Category 2 storm.
Once raking North Carolina, Hurricane Arthur rapidly accelerated to the northeast and weakened, passing offshore of Cape Cod and Nantucket. By July 5 the storm had become extratropical. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued its last advisory on the system on July 5 at 1500 UTC (11:00 a.m. EDT). According to the National Weather Service, widespread power outages were reported throughout coastal eastern North Carolina. Surge flooding up to 4-5 feet above normal was reported in parts of the Outer Bands. The peak wind gust during the storm was 101 mph (162.5 km/h) at Cape Lookout.