First named storm of season could drench July 4th

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By Ashley Fantz and Ed Payne

(CNN) — It’s likely to be a very wet July Fourth for North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Tropical Storm Arthur has formed off eastern Florida, the National Hurricane Center said Tuesday, making it the first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.

The center said the system could reach minimal hurricane strength when it hits the Outer Banks on Thursday night.

Earlier Tuesday the system was about 95 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and a tropical storm watch was in effect for the east coast of Florida from Fort Pierce to Flagler Beach.

After hitting the Carolinas, the system is likely going to turn northeast, forecasters said, bringing showers to New York City and Boston. The downpour should subside over the weekend, they said.

Florida can expect heavy rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, with accumulations of 1 to 3 inches typical, and up to 5 inches in some areas.

The Bahamas could see up to 6 inches of rain.

CNN’s Ralph Ellis contributed to this report.

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