The first tropical storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season formed on Tuesday and could strengthen into a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said, dampening July 4th holiday celebrations along the East Coast.

Tropical Storm Arthur formed off the central Florida coast and was expected to bring heavy rain, gusty thunderstorms, coastal flooding, rough seas and rip currents to beaches from Florida to southern New England this week, the Miami-based weather forecasters said.

Computer forecast models showed Arthur was not a threat to key oil and gas producing areas in the Gulf of Mexico.

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