Tropical Storm Arthur strengthens off Florida's east coast (VIDEO)

With the July Fourth weekend on the horizon, the Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm plodded off Florida's coast early Wednesday, though Tropical Storm Arthur wasn't yet spooking too many in the storm's potential path.

"I think everybody's keeping one eye on the weather and one eye on the events this weekend," said Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah, the city's tourism bureau.

A tropical storm watch was in effect for a swath of Florida's east coast. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami urged those as far north as parts of Virginia to monitor Tropical Storm Arthur's path. The center said Arthur was becoming better organized and predicted it would become a hurricane by Thursday.

Early Wednesday morning, forecasters said the storm was growing a little stronger as it moved slowly northward. It was about 95 miles (155 km) off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and its maximum sustained winds had increased to about 60 mph (95 kph). The storm was heading north at about 4 mph (6 kph). A gradual increase in forward speed was expected Wednesday, followed by a turn to the northeast by Thursday, the Hurricane Center said.

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