Earl maintaining Category 4 strength; hurricane watches for North Carolina

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:44 PM GMT on August 31, 2010

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Hurricane watches are now posted for coastal North Carolina, as Hurricane Earl continues towards the west-northwest at 13 mph with little change in strength. Currently, the outer reaches of the storm are affecting the Turks and Caicos Islands, and NOAA's Wavewatch III model is predicting 15 - 20 foot waves are affecting these islands. Early this morning, waves at buoy 41043 offshore of Puerto Rico reached 31 feet. Winds at Providenciales in the Turks were only 20 - 25 mph this afternoon, though Cockburn Town and Balfour Town in the extreme eastern Turks may be seeing winds near tropical storm force--40 mph.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Earl.

Intensity forecast for Earl
Recent visible satellite loops show that the southwest side of Earl is getting eaten into by wind shear and dry air. The storm is no longer as symmetrical as 24 hours ago, and the spiral band on Earl's west side has been destroyed by dry air. Wind shear as diagnosed by the latest SHIPS model forecast shows a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear, due to upper level winds out of the southwest from a trough of low pressure to Earl's west. This moderate shear is predicted to continue through Friday. Water vapor satellite loops show some moderately dry air to Earl's southwest, and very dry air to the northwest. Once Earl works its way farther to the northwest, it is possible that the persistent moderate wind shear will be able to drive this dry air deep enough into Earl's west side to significantly disrupt it. However, none of the models is predicting this, and Earl is probably large and strong enough to fend off this sort of assault. I give a 30% chance that a major dry air intrusion will significantly disrupt Earl between now and Thursday, weakening it to a Category 2 hurricane. Ocean temperatures are a near-record 29.5 - 30°C, and very warm waters extend to great depth, resulting in a total ocean heat content favorable for intensification. Earl is undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle, which may diminish its winds by 10 - 20 mph for a day or so. There is no evidence that Earl has weakened, though, based on the latest pressure of 940 mb from the Hurricane Hunters. It is likely Earl will be a major Category 3 or 4 hurricane at its closest approach to North Carolina Thursday night and Friday morning. By Friday night, when Earl will be making its closest approach to New England, wind shear will rise to a high 20 - 30 knots and ocean temperatures will plunge to 20°C, resulting in considerable weakening. Earl will still probably be a Category 2 hurricane on Friday night, when it could potentially make landfall in Massachusetts. Earl is more likely to be a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday morning, when it could potentially make landfall in Maine or Nova Scotia, Canada.

Track forecast for Earl
The latest set of computer models runs from 8am EDT (12Z) are pretty unified in taking Earl 100 - 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina, then 150 - 300 miles off the coast of Southeast Massachusetts, then into Nova Scotia. The high degree of model unity gives confidence that this is the correct solution, but it is good to keep in mind that the average error in a 48-hour NHC forecast is about 125 miles. It is likely that Earl will bring a 15-hour period of heavy rain and tropical storm force winds of 39+ mph to North Carolina's Outer Banks, beginning on Thursday evening. NHC is giving Cape Hatteras a 15% chance of receiving hurricane force winds. By Friday evening, Southeast Massachusetts can expect a 6 - 8 hour period of heavy rain and tropical storm force winds of 39+ mph. NHC is giving Nantucket a 13% chance of receiving hurricane force winds. These odds are 5% for Boston, 6% for Providence, 8% for Eastport, Maine, and 14% for Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The main determinant of whether Earl hits the U.S. or not is a strong trough of low pressure predicted to move off the U.S. East Coast Friday. This trough, if it develops as predicted, should be strong enough to recurve Earl out to sea. Keep in mind that the average error in position for a 3-day NHC forecast is 185 miles.

Regardless of Earl's exact track, the U.S. East Coast can expect a long period of high waves beginning on Thursday. Significant beach erosion and dangerous rip currents will be the rule, due to waves that will reach 10 - 15 feet in offshore waters. Waves from Hurricane Danielle killed two swimmers in the U.S. over the weekend and forced hundreds of water rescues along the U.S. East Coast. Earl's waves will be worse, and will likely cause millions of dollars in beach erosion damage.

Next update
Dr. Rob Carver is planning an update late tonight, and I'll have a full update in the morning.

Jeff Masters

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Dear Earl,

I am not amused.

<3 Tink
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Quoting Flyairbird:
We are holding the trof for ransom here in the Midwest... Whats it worth to ya?


What are you? the trof nazi
Member Since: September 8, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 423
Quoting mrpuertorico:
Time out new player entering the field





Wrong game....not foosball FOOTBALL ;)
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I think the more appropriate call for Fiona would be

Running into the kicker, 10 yard penalty, automatic FIRST DOWN!!
that would be a five yarder if it was "running into"...in her case I would say it is intentional so the call should be roughing the kicker, 15 yard penalty and first down Earl. She is borderline for getting an unsportsmanlike penalty for throwing a punch which would get her ejected.
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Quoting rarepearldesign:


Yeah, it's looking like the models are all coming in agreement. Wild weekend for us here.


14% chance of hurricane force winds here, which means 86% chance of no hurricane force winds. But it's looking to be wet and wild even so. I stocked up on canned goods this evening. "Spam, spam, spam, spam..."
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Quoting srada:
I ask this question twice today but maybe three times the charm..

If the cold front slows down but yet this trough makes it on time, do Earl still need that cold front to help steer him out to sea and away from North Carolina? and by looking at some satellite images, I just dont see how that cold front is going to make it here to the coast by thursday night when Earl is at its closest approach with NC..its been sitting over the mid west all dang day and hasent MOVED..TIA

LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
AS OF 3:00 PM TUESDAY...HURRICANES EARL SHOULD BE ON THE MOVE FRIDAY
LEAVING A WESTERLY FLOW IN ITS WAKE. THIS WILL QUICKLY VEER TO
NORTHWEST BY SATURDAY MORNING AS A COLD FRONT...ASSOCIATED WITH A
MAJOR 500MB TROUGH WHICH WILL BE THE MAIN PLAYER IN STEERING
EARL...
MOVES ACROSS. FLOW WILL END UP FROM THE NORTHEAST AS HIGH
PRESSURE SETS UP ACROSS THE MIDWEST. RESIDUAL HIGH SEAS WILL PREVAIL
EARLY FRIDAY BUT SUBSIDE TO LESS THAN FLAG CRITERIA BY AFTERNOON.
SOME SIX FOOTERS MAY DEVELOP BRIEFLY WITH THE FRONT EARLY SATURDAY
ACROSS THE OUTER WATERS...OTHERWISE...SEAS WILL DIMINISH TO 2-4 FEET
FOR LATER SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
We are holding the trof for ransom here in the Midwest... Whats it worth to ya?
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Quoting btwntx08:
personal foul earl 15 yard penalty repeat 3rd down


LOL!
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313. xcool
F4PHANTOM yea & need more updates
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Iway avehay onay ideaway atwhay ouyay areway alkingtay aboutway.
lol
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
Earl on a toss left, breaks it to the left side line and runs it into the Umass end zone for a td.
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Looks like a new eye is appearing.
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Quoting Floodman:


Damn, take a breath, huh?
If that is not a Grateful Dead song it should be!
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Quoting Floodman:
Okay kids, I'm, out...got things to do...play nice!

'Night Flood!
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Quoting K8eCane:



yep in new hanover county but I am about 20 miles south of surf city


ok you are right a TS Watch
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 4112
Quoting doorman79:
# 278

Its just like pig latin. You will be fine!!! lol


Iway avehay onay ideaway atwhay ouyay areway alkingtay aboutway.
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Good Evening.

Met Service of Jamaica website

August 31, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.

LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST

SIGNIFICANT FEATURE… Broad Trough across the central Caribbean and Jamaica .

Comment
The Broad Trough induced by Hurricane Earl is expected to linger over the central Caribbean for the
next 24 to 48 hours.


24-HOURS FORECAST
Tonight… Mainly Fair
Tomorrow… Partly cloudy morning with scattered afternoon showers and isolated thunderstorms mainly across northern and southcentral parishes.


3-DAYS FORECAST (after tomorrow)
Thurs- Fri...Mainly sunny mornings with scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms.

Sat ...Mainly sunny mornings with isolated afternoon showers and thunderstorms across central and western parishes.



Regionally… Hurricane Earl is currently affecting the northern sections of the eastern caribbean and Puerto Rico.
Earl is not a threat to Jamaica however as the Hurricane moves towards the southeastern Bahamas and the east coast of the United states of America it is expected to induce a broad trough over the central Caribbean and Jamaica. The trough should
result in light winds, increase moisture and also increase chance of afternoon thunderstorms due to day time heating.

rlb
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Intentional grounding is something we definitely don't want to see with Earl
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Earl is being drawn towards a ULL that is situated between MS & AL (see image and click to animate)



That trough that's supposed to move it out, will in due time, but the southern end of the trough is being defeated by the ULL. The northern portion is coming, but again, north of Tennesse and North Carolina.

This could mean that Earl will continue moving NW and get past 77W before it begins being influenced by the trough to the north of it, greatly increasing the chance of a landfall somewhere near the OBX.
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Okay kids, I'm, out...got things to do...play nice!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting btwntx08:
she is in a ts watch just checked the nws


yea so i wasnt sure where that graphic had come from that showed a H watch all the way down the NC coast
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296. unf97
I see most of you are ready for some football with all the references here to our cyclones. LOL. Yeah, I am too. College football starts Thursday, Saints-Vikings kickoff the NFL Season a week from Thursday. Can't wait!!

98L is very gradually getting itself together. I definitely look for more models to jump onboard with this system developing in the next few days. I think we will probably have Gaston in the next 48 hours.

Monster Earl has regained its eye and intense convection is firing again around the eye. Earl looks to be on another intensification stage this evening.

Also, new wave emerging behind 98L off the coast of Africa. Looks good. The CV train continues!
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Time out new player entering the field



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Quoting bluenosedave:


That really depends on the timing. One saving grace is that the Moon is entering last quarter, so no-one along the coast has to worry about spring tides.


Still a good chance Earl could be another Hortense. Don't want to rule that out.
out 2 seaaaaaaaa, byyyeeee...
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292. xcool
lol
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Quoting TheDawnAwakening:
WOW, Earl is getting his groove on. Latest imagery from ADDS suggests that newer eyewall convection is erupting instead of over the center of circulation. I think Earl is in his latest possible intensification period. I think if he can sustain this period for the next 24 hours, a possible run at 150-160mph winds is possible. Thereafter weakening is expected as upper level winds from the southwest begin to impinge on his circulation. However if trough gets delayed and main steering remains ridging to the east will affect him more than a more westward track and possible more favorable environment for intensification is possible, or at least have the ability to sustain his strength. Outflow is becoming better organized on his western semicircle and dry air is getting pushed away from Earl. This should allow good conditions to remain there for Earl over the next day for intensification. I think with a +PNA signal in the next 5 days from the models evident, then amplification of the central US trough is more likely to slow the progress of the cold front and therefore delay the affects it will have on Earl's steering. Also shear will be less than modeled as well. THis will also allow ridging to pump up to the northeast of Earl allowing the ridge to remain intense enough to steer Earl on its own. Landfall over the Cape and Islands is possible, and I believe more likely now than 24 hours ago. Outer Banks of NC could also sustain landfall as well, and Earl will be much stronger at closest approach then by the time he reaches Cape Cod, MA. I live on Cape Cod, MA and I would expect to see hurricane watches issued sometime THursday morning for my area as models delay affects until sometime Friday night into Saturday morning. This hurricane will track closer then Hurricane BIll of 2009 which brought a heavy rain squall and some gusty winds to the region which penetrated inland into interior SE MA and RI. Bill was some 200-250 miles out to sea from the US East Coast and much closer to Bermuda than Earl ever was at any point in his lifespan. So this tells me, we will see greater impacts from Earl then what we saw with Bill.


Damn, take a breath, huh?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
290. srada
I ask this question twice today but maybe three times the charm..

If the cold front slows down but yet this trough makes it on time, do Earl still need that cold front to help steer him out to sea and away from North Carolina? and by looking at some satellite images, I just dont see how that cold front is going to make it here to the coast by thursday night when Earl is at its closest approach with NC..its been sitting over the mid west all dang day and hasent MOVED..TIA

LONG TERM /FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
AS OF 3:00 PM TUESDAY...HURRICANES EARL SHOULD BE ON THE MOVE FRIDAY
LEAVING A WESTERLY FLOW IN ITS WAKE. THIS WILL QUICKLY VEER TO
NORTHWEST BY SATURDAY MORNING AS A COLD FRONT...ASSOCIATED WITH A
MAJOR 500MB TROUGH WHICH WILL BE THE MAIN PLAYER IN STEERING
EARL...
MOVES ACROSS. FLOW WILL END UP FROM THE NORTHEAST AS HIGH
PRESSURE SETS UP ACROSS THE MIDWEST. RESIDUAL HIGH SEAS WILL PREVAIL
EARLY FRIDAY BUT SUBSIDE TO LESS THAN FLAG CRITERIA BY AFTERNOON.
SOME SIX FOOTERS MAY DEVELOP BRIEFLY WITH THE FRONT EARLY SATURDAY
ACROSS THE OUTER WATERS...OTHERWISE...SEAS WILL DIMINISH TO 2-4 FEET
FOR LATER SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
# 278

Its just like pig latin. You will be fine!!! lol
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
If there's any wave worth watching it is PGI40L which is currently approaching the prime meridian.
Earl must still have a PG#. That pouch is worth watching much more than any other pouch or wave. The probabilities of a CONUS landfall are much greater, and even include an "It Could Happen Tomorrow" possibility(2%NYC).
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You'd think football season is starting or something. Go Longhorns!!!!!!!!!!

I'm really outta here now, folks. bbl
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Quoting oakland:


Wilmington is in New Hanover, right?
Yes
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Quoting Floodman:


Let's get through third down and see where he ends up...it doesn't look good though


I dunno. Quarterback sneak may mean he just wobbles all over the place and gets nowhere. On the other hand, putting it up in the air... hell, he might end up in Florida. *shrugs*
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I think the more appropriate call for Fiona would be

Running into the kicker, 10 yard penalty, automatic FIRST DOWN!!


More Like

Roughing the passer... #6. 15 yard penalty, automatic FIRST DOWN!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
WOW, Earl is getting his groove on. Latest imagery from ADDS suggests that newer eyewall convection is erupting instead of over the center of circulation. I think Earl is in his latest possible intensification period. I think if he can sustain this period for the next 24 hours, a possible run at 150-160mph winds is possible. Thereafter weakening is expected as upper level winds from the southwest begin to impinge on his circulation. However if trough gets delayed and main steering remains ridging to the east will affect him more than a more westward track and possible more favorable environment for intensification is possible, or at least have the ability to sustain his strength. Outflow is becoming better organized on his western semicircle and dry air is getting pushed away from Earl. This should allow good conditions to remain there for Earl over the next day for intensification. I think with a +PNA signal in the next 5 days from the models evident, then amplification of the central US trough is more likely to slow the progress of the cold front and therefore delay the affects it will have on Earl's steering. Also shear will be less than modeled as well. THis will also allow ridging to pump up to the northeast of Earl allowing the ridge to remain intense enough to steer Earl on its own. Landfall over the Cape and Islands is possible, and I believe more likely now than 24 hours ago. Outer Banks of NC could also sustain landfall as well, and Earl will be much stronger at closest approach then by the time he reaches Cape Cod, MA. I live on Cape Cod, MA and I would expect to see hurricane watches issued sometime THursday morning for my area as models delay affects until sometime Friday night into Saturday morning. This hurricane will track closer then Hurricane BIll of 2009 which brought a heavy rain squall and some gusty winds to the region which penetrated inland into interior SE MA and RI. Bill was some 200-250 miles out to sea from the US East Coast and much closer to Bermuda than Earl ever was at any point in his lifespan. So this tells me, we will see greater impacts from Earl then what we saw with Bill.
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Quoting oakland:


Wilmington is in New Hanover, right?


yep new hanover county
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Quoting oakland:



That I one I agree with. LOL Thanks to a family of football fanatics I actually understand what you're talking about. Love it!!!


The football talk is more confusing to me than the weather talk. :-)
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Quoting futureguy:
The Weather channel completely baffles me! If it doesn't curve and brushes Florida, well are they going to wait till its on top of them to say hey guess what we should have gave a model for this also, sorry about that. All the talk from blogger's from up North all worried, well what do you think southern Floridians might be feeling.


We're all in the same boat. The S.S. Atlantic.
The Weather Channel is always 30 seconds behind the blog.
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Quoting weathermancer:
If the model timing is correct... it will be high tide in Halifax at peak of storm.


That really depends on the timing. One saving grace is that the Moon is entering last quarter, so no-one along the coast has to worry about spring tides.
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Quoting futureguy:
The Weather channel completely baffles me! If it doesn't curve and brushes Florida, well are they going to wait till its on top of them to say hey guess what we should have gave a model for this also, sorry about that. All the talk from blogger's from up North all worried, well what do you think southern Floridians might be feeling.


If you live in S. Fl., Earl is not a concern. Unless you get into the ocean in the next few days, cuzit is going to be kicking!
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Quoting K8eCane:



yep in new hanover county but I am about 20 miles south of surf city


Wilmington is in New Hanover, right? I have family in Wilmington and Leland and I'm just trying to get my bearings for the watchs and warnings. Thanks in advance.
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Quoting will40:


quarterback sneak
........if you put it in the air, make sure it's a good clean tight spiral pass,....no wobbles. (sorry, couldn't resist)
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Quoting bluenosedave:


That's me, directly under that 2 pm Saturday dot. *sigh*


Yeah, it's looking like the models are all coming in agreement. Wild weekend for us here.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.