Category 3 Earl Continues Moving Towards the East Coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:13 AM GMT on September 01, 2010

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Hi, Dr. Rob Carver with your evening blog update. It's a busy night in the tropics with Hurricane Earl and Tropical Storm Fiona in the Atlantic, and 3 named storms in the western Pacific. Tonight, though, we'll focus on Earl.

As of 11PM EDT, Earl is still a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 mph and gusts of 160 mph. From the advisory, Earl is located at 23.0 N, 69.9 W, 910 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC. On average, Earl is currently moving towards the northwest at 14 mph. Remember, large storms are known for having wobbly tracks. Aircraft observations and microwave imagery (Fig. 1) indicate that the eyewall is reforming.


Fig. 1 Estimated rain-rate of Earl taken at 2332Z 31 Aug 2010. Image courtesy of the Naval Research Lab

Earl is passing near buoy 41046 and is generating some large waves as shown by Figure 1.


Fig. 2Plot of wave heights observed at buoy 41046. Data courtesy of the National Data Buoy Center

Earl is a large storm. Hurricane force winds extend 90 miles from the storm center and tropical storm force winds can be found 200 miles away. This means Earl will have an impact on areas well away from the center's track

Track Forecast
NHC has not really altered their track forecast for this update. Thanks to the subtropical high, Earl will continue a slight turn to the right as it moves around the subtropical high. Then when a trough in the jet stream comes out on Thursday, Earl will accelerate quickly to the northeast. The timing of the trough's arrival will determine Earl's impact on the East Coast. The current forecast still holds that Earl's center will stay out to sea, and I don't see any reason to disagree. Most of the computer model guidance supports this forecast (except for NOGAPS and NGFDL, and they have Earl only crossing the Outer Banks). It is worth noting that the ECMWF global model (the best global model) does bring Earl close to the Outer Banks. Earl will make his closest approach to the Outer Banks sometime early Friday morning.

Winds Forecast
Earl's size and track will likely produce tropical-storm force winds somewhere along the East Coast this weekend. From the wind probability product issued by NHC, Cape Hatteras has a 63% chance of tropical-storm force winds sometime this weekend. There is a wide swath of 30% chance of TS winds from Virginia north towards Maine. New York City has a 20% chance of TS winds, and Nantucket, MA has a 50% chance.

When Earl hooks on to the trough and starts accelerating to the northeast, it will start transitioning from a tropical system to an extratropical low. This means it will start weakening.

Current Watches
As of 1045PM EDT, a hurricane watch is in effect for the coastal US from Surf City, NC to the NC/VA border. Remember, this means tropical-storm force winds are expected within 48 hours. A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Turks and Caicos islands. A tropical storm watch is also in effect from Cape Fear to Surf City and for the southeastern Bahama islands. For the latest information on watches and warnings for Earl, visit our Tropical Alerts page.

Impacts
It's too early to be specific. That said, the local NWS office in Morehead City, NC thinks that with the combination of tides and winds, a storm surge of 4 feet is possible along the Outer Banks with moderate coastal flooding possible. They also think rip currents are a likely threat at the beaches.

What to do
People living in areas covered by the hurricane watch should start following their hurricane preparation plans now. You have less than 48 hours to complete your preparations. Be sure to listen to local media for statements from emergency management agencies and the local NWS. If you live in areas prone to flooding, evacuate to a hurricane shelter or a place outside evacuation zones. If an evacuation order is given, please follow it.

People living from Virginia to New England should monitor the progress of Earl and think about their hurricane preparations.

Fiona
Fiona stayed too close to big brother Earl and is paying the price. Outflow from Earl is expected to create shear, transforming Fiona into an open trough. It's forecast to dissipate in 2-3 days.

600AM EDT UPDATE
Earl has weakened to a category 3 storm with maximum winds of 125 mph. NHC has extended the hurricane watch from the NC/VA border to Parramore island. The track forecast has shifted a bit to the west, so the chance of tropical-storm force winds in the New England area has gone up. For example, Eastport ME has a greater than 50% chance of tropical storm force winds now. For more cities, take a look at the wind probabilities product. Intensity forecast is relatively unchanged.

Fiona is starting to build a little more space between herself and Earl. If this keeps up, Fiona might have a shot at survival. This is worth keeping an eye on.

Next update
Dr. Jeff Masters will have an update Wednesday morning.

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Storm,

Sorry to ask you this again but maybe my questions got pushed down beneath other ones on the page. Is the new westerly pattern of storms that you indicated last week taking shape after the trough passes?

Also, the possible clockwise loop that Fiona could take, does that remind you of Hurricane Jeanne back in 2004? Same thing possible here?

What are your thoughts on 98L? looking down the road, does 98L look to be a florida threat given the wind currents and ridging? Thanks
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Quoting StormW:
Just for giggles and grins, here's the forecast steering pattern out to 144 hours:

LINK


So what your saying is Im about to get busier? Nice...
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1019. 7544
looks like we can see a new td anytime during the day today from 08 this should be a cone from the nhc waiting
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1018. Melagoo
... I'd say Earl may be the least of your worries looking at all the waves that are coming off Africa ...

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Quoting KanKunKid:
I commend you on your humble but wise opinion. However having worked with Emergency Operations, there are protocols to consider based on previous experiences and the decisions of those in charge for when to implement them. People are people and do crazy things and there are some who are smart and leave when they ascertain the threat some have to be told what to do, some have to be forced out. In our litigation happy society, strict rules are in place to hold harmless emergency agencies from lawsuits based on the actions carried out by emergency agency authorities and their people. If they go by the rules they are protected by them.
Katrina and her legacy has become the new touchstone for emergency management operations. People don't like being told what to do, even if it costs them their life, but you can't legislate common sense. So we have the next best thing. Believe me, when it is time to issue a warning, it will be issued.


+10
Member Since: August 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 652
Quoting KanKunKid:
I commend you on your humble but wise opinion. However having worked with Emergency Operations, there are protocols to consider based on previous experiences and the decisions of those in charge for when to implement them. People are people and do crazy things and there are some who are smart and leave when they ascertain the threat some have to be told what to do, some have to be forced out. In our litigation happy society, strict rules are in place to hold harmless emergency agencies from lawsuits based on the actions carried out by emergency agency authorities and their people. If they go by the rules they are protected by them.
Katrina and her legacy has become the new touchstone for emergency management operations. People don't like being told what to do, even if it costs them their life, but you can't legislate common sense. So we have the next best thing. Believe me, when it is time to issue a warning, it will be issued.


+1 - probably the biggest challenge we face in EM...
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1015. dmh1026
Quoting odubhthaigh:


Apocalyps's "cone" as it were.
LOL that's what I was thinking about his cone as well! When all else fails follow the NHC's 3 day cone. They have been very good with it over the past few years...
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Great stuff, Beell - thanks. Been wondering where that atmospheric stuff was gonna show up. ;)
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Hi all...

StormW or anyone, can you please answer another question I have (at your convenience)...

At its point of closest approach to NC, with the current forecast, what is the expected radius of intense winds?
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1012. breald
Quoting DestinJeff:


I see someone has been reading my comments again this morning....



I will be looking for my Royalty Check in the mail.


The NHC does predict the storm to go as far as 75.2 west
Member Since: May 28, 2008 Posts: 38 Comments: 5303
1011. Engine2
We also have to watch the tilt/orientation of the trough in the Northeast as well
Member Since: February 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 482
Good morning, all.




Getting a little eastwards movement from the trough, but only the northern portion seems to be more amplified. Looks like its gonna be a footrace
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1007. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting sporteguy03:
Keep,
Any TFCA issued on 98L? Did not se anything on NRL site.
not yet i will let ya know as soon as it comes out
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1005. hydrus
Quoting barotropic:


Yes, well you would beg to differ if you had 400 employees you sent home to prepare for a hurricane, 60 hours in advance and then 440 hours in advance if the storm turned away from you, you'd be screaming why did you issue the warning so far in advance. Of courrse multiply that by 100's of thousands of business's and you get the idea.
My bet is the director of the National Hurricane Center knows more than you and I. Dont you think?
no....jk
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Quoting barotropic:


Yes, well you would beg to differ if you had 400 employees you sent home to prepare for a hurricane, 60 hours in advance and then 440 hours in advance if the storm turned away from you, you'd be screaming why did you issue the warning so far in advance. Of courrse multiply that by 100's of thousands of business's and you get the idea.
My bet is the director of the National Hurricane Center knows more than you and I. Dont you think?


Very good points. There's also the issue of alarm fatigue. If they get too heavy handed to "save lives" you get lots of false alarms and people just don't take warnings seriously which has the opposite effect.
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1002. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
941. Cotillion 12:54 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
The last major to hit the US East Coast...

As a major...

Not including the Floridian east coast...

Would be Hurricane Fran, 1996.


wow that is going way back for the last major cyclone to hit the region Earl may reach.
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI


TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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999. Relix
Quoting Cotillion:


Ah, said classing twice. Bad form.

---

000
WHXX01 KWBC 011301
CHGHUR
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1301 UTC WED SEP 1 2010

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL982010) 20100901 1200 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
100901 1200 100902 0000 100902 1200 100903 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 12.3N 35.2W 12.6N 37.4W 12.6N 39.3W 12.5N 41.0W
BAMD 12.3N 35.2W 13.2N 37.0W 14.0N 38.2W 14.8N 39.2W
BAMM 12.3N 35.2W 12.8N 37.2W 13.2N 38.7W 13.5N 39.9W
LBAR 12.3N 35.2W 12.9N 37.6W 13.5N 39.9W 14.2N 42.1W
SHIP 30KTS 36KTS 42KTS 46KTS
DSHP 30KTS 36KTS 42KTS 46KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
100903 1200 100904 1200 100905 1200 100906 1200

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 12.6N 42.8W 12.8N 46.6W 13.2N 51.5W 13.6N 57.2W
BAMD 15.8N 40.6W 18.4N 43.9W 20.2N 46.9W 20.1N 50.4W
BAMM 13.9N 41.4W 15.1N 45.0W 16.4N 49.6W 16.9N 54.9W
LBAR 15.2N 44.0W 18.4N 47.6W 22.6N 50.6W 25.5N 51.3W
SHIP 49KTS 55KTS 59KTS 64KTS
DSHP 49KTS 55KTS 59KTS 64KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 12.3N LONCUR = 35.2W DIRCUR = 275DEG SPDCUR = 15KT
LATM12 = 12.1N LONM12 = 32.1W DIRM12 = 279DEG SPDM12 = 13KT
LATM24 = 11.2N LONM24 = 29.6W
WNDCUR = 30KT RMAXWD = 45NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1006MB OUTPRS = 1011MB OUTRAD = 225NM SDEPTH = M
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM

$$
NNNN


Shouldn't Gaston move to at least 15N and move west from there, seeing the high building in (or expected).
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Quoting 900MB:


I beg to differ. Yes, there are economic consequences, the number 1 priority is safety. Long Islanders haven't seen a significant storm in years and I would figure that they could use a little extra lead time. Also, the last thing you need is people heading East for the long weekend when they should be staying put! Just my opinion.

All right, you are the political appointee, or politician him/herself who has to make the call to evac. Labor day weekend where business make a significant percentage of their yearly gross. You call evac, nothing happens. ^ Million fingers pointed at you some laughing, others looking to poke your eyes out. Worst of all see what happens to you next election day And as we all know the chief aim of any politician is to remain a politician. Great job with great benefits. Sort of like show business for ugly people
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stormW with the omega coming into play, does that put more of long island at risk,rather then just the east end?
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Quoting BlxMS:
KEEPER..POST 846...

The three runs on this post...What is the difference? Are these the same model runs initialized at progessively latter times??? Thanks in advance for answering...
it is three diff. models the first is the nam 2nd is ukmet and the 3rd is the gfs
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Morning All.

The Big Dogs have Earl well covered. Just so we don't get all complacent. I mentioned last night Fiona was putting some distance between Earl and Earl may leave her behind.

FIONA





98L (Soon To Be 09L)



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Earl,
Please go EAST.........QUICKLY!!
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Quoting StormW:


The second GFS you posted has the ridge too far east. Shape of the ridge is in an Omega shape.



Good Morning Storm.W..Looks like a busy day for you..98L is looking like it will be trouble down the road, Fiona could do something unexpected, and Earl may want a piece of the outer banks. Looking forward to your synopsis.
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Keep,
Any TFCA issued on 98L? Did not se anything on NRL site.
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988. 7544
thanks jeff will be watching
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Quoting 900MB:


I beg to differ. Yes, there are economic consequences, the number 1 priority is safety. Long Islanders haven't seen a significant storm in years and I would figure that they could use a little extra lead time. Also, the last thing you need is people heading East for the long weekend when they should be staying put! Just my opinion.


Yes, well you would beg to differ if you had 400 employees you sent home to prepare for a hurricane, 60 hours in advance and then 40 hours in advance if the storm turned away from you, you'd be screaming why did you issue the warning so far in advance. Of courrse multiply that by 100's of thousands of business's and you get the idea.
My bet is the director of the National Hurricane Center knows more than you and I. Dont you think?
Member Since: August 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 652
i have some backreading to do apparently... i'm curious as to what this 'omega' conversation is, and what the potential impacts are as far as forecast track is concerned...

StormW, u always keep me busy reading... and I always learn so much :) thnx!

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Quoting WxLogic:


Yeah... I won't be surprised if they're awaiting more model support/consistency before getting out that "classifying" state. :)


Ah, said classing twice. Bad form.

---

000
WHXX01 KWBC 011301
CHGHUR
TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1301 UTC WED SEP 1 2010

DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.
PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.

ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR

DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL982010) 20100901 1200 UTC

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
100901 1200 100902 0000 100902 1200 100903 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 12.3N 35.2W 12.6N 37.4W 12.6N 39.3W 12.5N 41.0W
BAMD 12.3N 35.2W 13.2N 37.0W 14.0N 38.2W 14.8N 39.2W
BAMM 12.3N 35.2W 12.8N 37.2W 13.2N 38.7W 13.5N 39.9W
LBAR 12.3N 35.2W 12.9N 37.6W 13.5N 39.9W 14.2N 42.1W
SHIP 30KTS 36KTS 42KTS 46KTS
DSHP 30KTS 36KTS 42KTS 46KTS

...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...
100903 1200 100904 1200 100905 1200 100906 1200

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 12.6N 42.8W 12.8N 46.6W 13.2N 51.5W 13.6N 57.2W
BAMD 15.8N 40.6W 18.4N 43.9W 20.2N 46.9W 20.1N 50.4W
BAMM 13.9N 41.4W 15.1N 45.0W 16.4N 49.6W 16.9N 54.9W
LBAR 15.2N 44.0W 18.4N 47.6W 22.6N 50.6W 25.5N 51.3W
SHIP 49KTS 55KTS 59KTS 64KTS
DSHP 49KTS 55KTS 59KTS 64KTS

...INITIAL CONDITIONS...
LATCUR = 12.3N LONCUR = 35.2W DIRCUR = 275DEG SPDCUR = 15KT
LATM12 = 12.1N LONM12 = 32.1W DIRM12 = 279DEG SPDM12 = 13KT
LATM24 = 11.2N LONM24 = 29.6W
WNDCUR = 30KT RMAXWD = 45NM WNDM12 = 25KT
CENPRS = 1006MB OUTPRS = 1011MB OUTRAD = 225NM SDEPTH = M
RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM

$$
NNNN
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Jerseyshoregirl...

there are models showing it bad for the coast.

If it comes on the western side of the forecast (withing 200 miles) you can see TS force winds, large damaging swells, beach erosion, and possible overtoping in the usual places.

If it comes within 90 miles you can see hurricane force winds and all the goodies that come along with that =(

If it stays on the forcast track or to the east then you will be looking at large waves, beach erosion and rip tides but not much else.

Its all about the track right now up here in NJ 100 miles will make a huge difference, think Nor'Easters only alot more powerful and no snow.
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982. BlxMS
KEEPER..POST 846...

The three runs on this post...What is the difference? Are these the same model runs initialized at progessively latter times??? Thanks in advance for answering...
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981. 7544
thanks strom w
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Quoting KanKunKid:


Ya, the Chief was talking about that yesterday in his synopsis. Not good for us Caribbeaners, eh?


I'm afraid not. This September could be rough going for some.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Lambda Lambda Lambda and...

Omega Moos.


HA!
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Quoting Cotillion:


They're still classing it as a disturbance rather than a low, which may prolong its classification a touch.


Yeah... I won't be surprised if they're awaiting more model support/consistency before getting out that "classifying" state. :)
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038

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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.

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