Tropical Storm Arthur forms off Florida coast

This NOAA satellite image taken Monday, June 30, 2014 at 10:45 a.m. EDT shows swirl of clouds trying to organize around a center of low pressure that may develop into a tropical depression soon off the eastern Florida Coast with rain and thunderstorms. (AP Photo/Weather Underground)
This NOAA satellite image taken Monday, June 30, 2014 at 10:45 a.m. EDT shows swirl of clouds trying to organize around a center of low pressure that may develop into a tropical depression soon off the eastern Florida Coast with rain and thunderstorms. (AP Photo/Weather Underground)

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Arthur has formed off the central Florida coast, becoming the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says a tropical storm watch is in effect for the state’s east coast, from Fort Pierce to Flagler Beach.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds late Tuesday morning are about 40 mph (65 kph). The center says Arthur is expected to strengthen in the next 48 hours. The storm is forecast to produce rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches, mainly across the eastern Florida peninsula.

The storm is centered about 95 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral and is moving northwest at 2 mph.

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