Image courtesy National Weather Service.

While you were asleep dreaming of your Fourth of July beach trip, authorities along the Atlantic Coast beaches were getting ready for Arthur. While storm tracks are never certain, they have good reason to act.

At 5 a.m. the National Weather Service issued a tropical storm watch for beaches in South Carolina and a hurricane watch for the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The storm itself was working its way up from Florida with a good chance of strengthening to hurricane force by the time it hits North Carolina on Thursday, according to the advisory.

The first tropical storm of the 2014 hurricane season will visit the East Coast between now and the July 4 holiday weekend. The Post's Jason Samenow explains where and when it will hit, and whether you'll need to change your weekend plans. (Tom LeGro and Jason Samenow/The Washington Post)

Yes, it’s a little early for all this. August and September are the proverbial “bad” months for the area. But nobody told Arthur.

There are lots of ways Arthur could ruin a trip.

Thinking of visiting Cape Lookout in North Carolina? Sorry. It’s shutting down Wednesday and evacuating all park visitors, the National Park Service said.

Body surfing? The weather service warned of swells “likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.”

Fishing? “Hazardous conditions” on piers and jetties.

Fireworks? The town of Atlantic Beach, N.C., rescheduled its show from Friday night to Saturday night because of the storm. On the Eastern Shore of Virginia, officials are contemplating the same.

“We’re monitoring the situation and determining what we want to do as far as the fireworks,” Chincoteague Town Manager Robert Ritter told Delmarva Now.

Getting there: Pine Knoll Shores, N.C., town manager Brian Kramer told WITV he was concerned that Arthur will pass by when many people are headed to the island town, and asked travelers to rethink their travel plans so they arrive either well before or well after the storm.