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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NY and NJ mets are funny. reading this morning forecast discussions when it comes to earl...

...for information and forecast for earl please refer to the NHC....

then it is followed by

... if earl is close we will have the effects of a tropical system, if it moves out to sea we will not...

Gotta love THAT forecast LOL
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
Quoting barotropic:


To issue a Hurricane warning means a huge economic impact on government and municipalities as well as citizens. Especially considering the already poor state of our economy. While a warning is probably 100 percent likely, waiting until the last proper moment to issue it is probably a very good idea.

In my humble opinion it is a stupid idea to possibly sacrifice lives to save municipalities a few dollars. In the grand scheme of things, there really should only be a few government responsibilities, saving lives and helping to prevent disasters should be on high on their list.
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921. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Was Isabelle the last strong hurricane to hit the eastern coast?
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920. beell
Quoting StormW:


I beg to differ.


No problem, Storm. Open forum, yes? There is still a risk either way. My fear is the mid-Atlantic ridge builds west, Forcing Earl closer to the coast. And then becoming entrained in the strong low pressure system associated with the trough. This could force Earl back in towards the coast.

What are your differences?
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Too many paint chips for that dude...
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917. Vero1
Quoting MahFL:
"Dare County officials on Wednesday morning ordered the evacuation of visitors on Hatteras Island. Officials worry that high waves could wash over N.C. Highway 12, the principle road along the Outer Banks."



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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


The ice cream fell out of your cone a long time ago.
hard to put icecream in a cone u never had in the first place
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stormw i think you are right because you are probably the best forecaster on here if the omega situation is happening where will the storm make a landfall
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Interesting change in the subtropical ridge with the flow becoming more zonal. This may signal a change to a more Westward track for 98L and systems to come


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Storm,

What would the block mean? Is Earl going to definately hit someone in the northeast?
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
It seems like Eastern Long Island will need hurricane watches later today or tomorrow.

Haven't seen that in a while.
I am wondering when was the last time Long Islond had hurricane advisories up. 1991?
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Omega maybe
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3109
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Looks like the NHC's beloved models missed this one.

This should be a TD at 11am.



Yes, but the NHC didn't miss it despite the lack of model support.
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Quoting connie1976:


why are you wishing that storm on my state??????? stop it!! lol
please quit quoting him he is a troll. you are defeating the purpose of the ignore button by making us see his ridiculous comments.
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It seems like Eastern Long Island will need hurricane watches later today or tomorrow.

Haven't seen that in a while.
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O Lordy..

Adio..for now.
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Good Morning. Just looking over the CONUS WV Loops and it would appear that the TROF is still intact and and on the way to keep Earl off of the Coast......It's all about timing and so long as Earl stays just off the coast, they would not be on the dirty side of the storm....Gonna probably to boil down to a few "wobbles" either way on it's closet approach to the US.
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Quoting connie1976:


why are you wishing that storm on my state??????? stop it!! lol


no, he just keeps tilting his computer monitor to make whatever direction Earl is moving look like it is due west.
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898. MahFL
"Dare County officials on Wednesday morning ordered the evacuation of visitors on Hatteras Island. Officials worry that high waves could wash over N.C. Highway 12, the principle road along the Outer Banks."

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Fiona Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
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Quoting divdog:
45 mph is the official wind speed


No, its 60 mph.
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Quoting apocalyps:
It is realy amazing,Earl is going to Florida.
He just jumps a little to the west everytime.
KEEP SAFE


why are you wishing that storm on my state??????? stop it!! lol
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892. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
08L.FIONA.50kts.998mb.18.2N.60.9W

data from FNMOC
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Good morning, I remember saying yesterday don't underestimate Fiona, well now she is a 60mph TS.
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local news makes it sound as we are 'free and clear' of any bad weather.... we are out of the cone this morning, but as a once long time FL resident, I know better. Does any watch or warning look likely for the Jersey coast?
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Typacilly no warnings or watched are issued until an IMMINENT threat is at least 48 hours away it is not that time yet for New York or further north
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Post #865 Interesting, futuremet.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11034
885. beell
No block. A progressive ridge. Ridge axis moving east. The trough should have no trouble. It is strong. Timing is still the issue-not a block.

Note the ridge axis on yesterday's 18Z-500mb valid at 18Z/Tuesday.

Axis over western NY, PA, and VA, etc



Today's 06Z GFS-Valid 06Z Thursday.
Ridge axis E of Maine, extending S into the ATL.
Progressive. That part of the pattern has been pretty consistent.


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Quoting divdog:
her discussion was kind of interesting this morning an excerpt from the 5:00 am discussion

IF
FIONA BECOMES A STRONGER SYSTEM THAN CURRENTLY FORECAST...THE
CYCLONE COULD SURVIVE AND END UP MAKING A CLOCKWISE LOOP OR EVEN
BECOME STATIONARY BY 120 HOURS.


I wonder if this does occur and fiona was to stall or loop at 28 or 30 degree N lat, what kind of effect this would have on 98L which is soon to be a storm. This would prevent the weakness from earl and Fiona (behind fiona) from closing off.
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


what does that mean
Basically amplifying it
Member Since: February 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 482
Quoting Relix:
Fiona has 60mph winds? WHAT?!?!? Wow.
45 mph is the official wind speed
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Quoting leelee75k:
I hate the quote feature, it's the only thing that stops me from completely ignoring people on my ignore list.


Agreed!
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Looks like Earl is eating dry air for breakfast and then spitting it back out as moist air.
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Quoting Engine2:
I think was concentrating more on the pumping of the ridge by the trough and its amplification


what does that mean
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Good Morning Everyone, I realize that HUR EARL is moving toward the NW at this time; but I don't like the front setup he is running into. If the High currently in his path does not move our as predicted soon, EARL is going to stall and look for a new path of least resistance. If this happens, start making bets on which direction he will be going. Today will be very interesting. Here's hoping everything falls in place and he moves N and then NE away from CONUS.
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12z Fiona Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Fiona
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)



Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)


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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.