MIAMI (AP) -- Tropical Storm Arthur has formed off the central Florida coast, becoming the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.<br />
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.<br />
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.<br />
The storm is centered about 95 miles (155 kilometers) southeast of Cape Canaveral and is moving northwest at 2 mph (4 kph).
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
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