Hurricane Arthur has been downgraded from a category two to a category one storm as it makes its way toward New England. The National Weather Service is still expecting between three and five inches of rain to hit Rhode Island. A flash flood alert has been issued for the region and will be in place from noon until 2AM tomorrow morning.
Providence has pushed back its Fourth of July fireworks because of the weather. Mayor Angel Taveras says the celebration, including a performance by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Pops Orchestra has been moved to Saturday evening. Weather forecasters are predicting thunderstorms and heavy rain on Friday due to Arthur, which has now been upgraded to a hurricane. The storm is currently off the coast of North Carolina. Several other communities, including Warwick have moved their Independence Day celebrations to Saturday.
In Boston, the annual concert and fireworks on the Esplanade has been moved to today, if weather permits.
As the storm gets closer, heavier rains could cause flash flooding throughout the state. Precipitation is expected to continue through Friday. Meteorologist Rebecca Gould says Arthur may just touch the southern coast in parts of North Carolina, but will largely miss Rhode Island: "As for up here Arthur will remain offshore, and pass us southeast of Nantucket." Forecasters are expecting rain to begin as early as today and turn to heavy rain and possible tropical storm conditions on Friday, as hurricane Arthur moves north off the east coast.
Saturday and Sunday, however, are expected to be beautiful: sunny skies with low humidity.