HALIFAX -- Environment Canada is warning tropical storm Arthur could bring some rough weather to Atlantic Canada this weekend.
The Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax says the storm is expected to intensify to hurricane strength and accelerate as it moves northeastward along the East Coast of the United States on a track that could take it across Nova Scotia.
However, the storm's course and strength remain difficult to predict, meteorologist Bob Robichaud said Wednesday.
"This far out, there's still about a 300-kilometre margin of error in the forecast track," he said. "It could be anywhere from southern, central New Brunswick all the way to offshore Nova Scotia at this point... (But) it looks like someone will get something from this storm on the weekend."
Robichaud said a trough of low pressure moving eastward from the Great Lakes is expected to have an impact on the advancing storm, which was churning out winds in excess of 100 kilometres per hour as it moved parallel to Florida's coast Wednesday.
"If we get the storm coming up right as the trough is going through, that could accentuate some of the rainfall amounts in the Maritimes," he said. "That's two weather features that we're monitoring closely."
Robichaud said the Maritime provinces can expect the storm to be at its worst on Saturday before moving into Newfoundland on Sunday. Despite the uncertainty about Arthur's path, organizers of the annual Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso, N.S., have cancelled the music event, which was scheduled to start Friday and continue through the weekend. There was no word on when or if the event will be rescheduled.
Meanwhile, hurricane watches have been issued for parts of North Carolina's coast, while tropical storm watches are in effect for parts of Florida and South Carolina.
American forecasters say the first named storm of the hurricane season was expected to skim North Carolina's Outer Banks on Friday -- Independence Day. The 320-kilometre string of narrow barrier islands are prone to flooding but popular for beachgoers.
Lee Nettles, executive director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, said the area sees frequent storms.
-- The Canadian Press, with files from The Associated Press