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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Quoting PensacolaDoug:


Yes, your cone of idiocy.

Like shooting fish in a barrel.lol
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I hate the quote feature, it's the only thing that stops me from completely ignoring people on my ignore list.
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843.

yes divdog.

The setup would trend westward (not florida) thus making the models trend westward.

which unfortunatly has been happening consistantly.

I just dont like this one bit. No sir, not one bit.

NGFDL and a few others that were discounted as outliers might be the ones verifying.

Just remeber the hurricane force winds are out to 90 miles TS 200 or more so anything close is a strike, plus this storm loves wobbles along its path.

not doomcasting here just reading the sat images and looking at models and hoping that the gosh darn trough in the midwest hits the afterburner and gets its butt to the coast. It has to change its ipod and stop listening to california girls by the beach boys.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
Quoting 900MB:
Okay, I know it is 60 hours out, not 48, but I see no reason why a hurricane watch would not be posted from East End of Long Island and up!?!


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.
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RIDDING BETWEEN THE TWO SYSTEMS HAS OBVIOUSLY INCREASED...WHICH HAS
RESULTED IN THE SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN THE FORWARD SPEED OF FIONA
FROM MORE THAN 20 KT DOWN TO THE CURRENT 12 KT IN THE PAST 12
HOURS. THE POSSIBLE CAUSE OF THE RIDGING TO THE NORTHWEST OF FIONA
IS THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOWS FROM BOTH CYCLONES CONVERGING TO THE
NORTHWEST OF FIONA. THIS RIDGING MAY ALLOW KEEP FIONA FROM
INTERACTING WITH THE LARGER CIRCULATION OF EARL LIKE MOST OF THE
GLOBAL MODELS HAVE BEEN FORECASTING THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS.
ALL OF
THE MODEL GUIDANCE...EXCLUDING NOGAPS...NOW SLOWS DOWN FIONA BY DAY
3...WITH THE CYCLONE POSSIBLY GETTING TRAPPED IN THE SUBTROPICAL
RIDGE.
AS RESULT OF THESE NEW SCENARIO...A 96-HOUR POSITION HAS
BEEN ADDED AND DISSIPATION HAS BEEN DELAYED UNTIL 120 HOURS. 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. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST TRACK IS
SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY..EXCEPT SLOWER AT 48 HOURS AND
BEYOND...AND IS ALONG THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE GUIDANCE SUITE.


I have been tracking Fiona closely since yesterday. If it is not absorbed by Earl in time, it will be blocked by the ridge that will be developing over the east about four days from now.
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Good morning, it's really going to be tough to figure out where 98L will track, a big question will be Fiona's path and strength and how it affects the ridging. The next week is going to be a forecasting nightmare, especially with the African train going full force at this point.
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Well, GFDL and HWRF, UKMET are catching up now! 98L or future Gaston looks a lot more WEST than the previous entities! 06Z HWRF despite its well known poleward bias(?) takes it straight WEST in to the Caribbean!!
Could be the biggest player yet as far as US is concerned!!?
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Fiona looks like she wants to go see Shrek in the Carribean...
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East Coast better pray the UKMET doesn't verify.
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Quoting leelee75k:
Last night almost everyone on this blog had written off Fiona as being absorbed, eaten, sheared by Earl, but surprising this morning she is still around and getting stronger it seems!!!! Actually looks like the interaction between the two storms was a positive for each of them, Earl got a little push and stole some of Fiona's moisture, Fiona lightened her load and is ready to have a go at it now.

Keep an eye on this one, not so sure I buy into her current forecast.
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.
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Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:

Here comes 09 and gaston eh?


It appears that way.
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Keep safe in Florida.
Things just does not look good
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
I think was concentrating more on the pumping of the ridge by the trough and its amplification
Member Since: February 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 482
854. DVG
Quoting naitsabes:
Earl is a South Carolina to as far south as extreme north Florida storm, I can see that; perhaps I am the only person bold enough to state this, but that is my take.


Just look at the cimss maps DestinJ put up.
Openned my eyes this am for sure.

OSU...Storm said similar to. He is still analyzing.

Which a lot of us are going to be real curious about what he comes up with.
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Quoting jason2010xxxx:
LOOK AT THE MODELS LITTLE MORE TO THE WEST.


Err...no...if anything a very very slight shift east.

Anyways, Earl is looking much better right now then he was a few hours ago....seems like he finally finished that EWRC
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Member Since: February 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 482
98L

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12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Earl
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)





Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)



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Quoting FloridaHeat:
earl looks to be getting more organized again am i correct



Eye has become more distinct. No doubt about it.

Oz is enroute to NC today.
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MODELS NAM UKMET GFS
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Looks like the NHC's beloved models missed this one.

This should be a TD at 11am.

98L will end up being a big hurricane too....Just my harmless opinion.:)
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Chicklit... post 759.. wow, Syracuse NY, my town,in a cone? First I've seen this. Nice (not). GOod thoughts to those on the coast. Please... be prepared.
Bob
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


you are making me nervous here
i dont believe they are saying the block would turn it toward florida just a little more west meaning a landfall.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
01/1145 UTC 12.4N 35.1W T2.0/2.0 98L -- Atlantic

Here comes 09 and gaston eh?
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EARL Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop
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I'm a news junkie- and this is what makes me so mad about journalism today.

The headline on msnbc states "Thousands flee weakening Earl".
Well- you don't find out until 2/3 through the story that the weakening isn't significant. And that is only after you click on it!

Do you know how many people will just read the headline and think "Oh it's weakening, I'll stick around and watch it."

It's infuriating.
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Morning again. Just read this about Fiona:

RIDDING BETWEEN THE TWO SYSTEMS HAS OBVIOUSLY INCREASED...WHICH HAS
RESULTED IN THE SIGNIFICANT DECREASE IN THE FORWARD SPEED OF FIONA
FROM MORE THAN 20 KT DOWN TO THE CURRENT 12 KT IN THE PAST 12
HOURS. THE POSSIBLE CAUSE OF THE RIDGING TO THE NORTHWEST OF FIONA
IS THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOWS FROM BOTH CYCLONES CONVERGING TO THE
NORTHWEST OF FIONA. THIS RIDGING MAY ALLOW KEEP FIONA FROM
INTERACTING WITH THE LARGER CIRCULATION OF EARL LIKE MOST OF THE
GLOBAL MODELS HAVE BEEN FORECASTING THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS. ALL OF
THE MODEL GUIDANCE...EXCLUDING NOGAPS...NOW SLOWS DOWN FIONA BY DAY
3...WITH THE CYCLONE POSSIBLY GETTING TRAPPED IN THE SUBTROPICAL
RIDGE. AS RESULT OF THESE NEW SCENARIO...A 96-HOUR POSITION HAS
BEEN ADDED AND DISSIPATION HAS BEEN DELAYED UNTIL 120 HOURS. 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. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST TRACK IS
SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY..EXCEPT SLOWER AT 48 HOURS AND
BEYOND...AND IS ALONG THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE GUIDANCE SUITE.

What a change! This sounds like Fiona has the potential to end up anywhere from the Antilles to the Gulf to the Outer Banks!..... and did I see LOOP? Can I say Betsy? Jeanne? ..... Hmmmm.....
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Quoting leelee75k:
Last night almost everyone on this blog had written off Fiona as being absorbed, eaten, sheared by Earl, but surprising this morning she is still around and getting stronger it seems!!!! Actually looks like the interaction between the two storms was a positive for each of them, Earl got a little push and stole some of Fiona's moisture, Fiona lightened her load and is ready to have a go at it now.

Keep an eye on this one, not so sure I buy into her current forecast.
If Fiona takes a more westward track, I think she will strengthen Quick.
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WV


Rainbow


RGB
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835. Relix
Fiona has 60mph winds? WHAT?!?!? Wow.
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Quoting Bonedog:
The reason the Omega Block isnt a good thing is because it will pull the low twords the ridge thus....

well I am just not going to say it


Thanks i wasnt going to eaither, "no sir i wasnt"
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
Quoting Bonedog:
The reason the Omega Block isnt a good thing is because it will pull the low twords the ridge thus....

well I am just not going to say it


you are making me nervous here
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Quoting Bonedog:
The reason the Omega Block isnt a good thing is because it will pull the low twords the ridge thus....

well I am just not going to say it
What?
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Looks like the NHC's beloved models missed this one.

This should be a TD at 11am.

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Quoting aimetti:


It seems our local news are picking up on it finally. Judging from posts from local websites and chatter around town etc most people have the mentality of "oh its just another fizzler and going out to sea like the rest of them" The majority definitely arent prepared.


I know, I was saying earlier that it was funny how people in this area overreact to blizzards because of a blizzard that happened in 1978 but not hurricanes when the last one was 1991. Silly people. Maybe I am a little sensitive to hurricanes after living in Florida.
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Ships now wants to bring Fiona just short of hurricane status.
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Quoting StormW:
You can see how the water vapor resembles almost an Omega Block

Omega Block out west in this graphic, AUG 2006


StormW-

I'm going to have to disagree with the comparison. An Omega Block is a stable atmospheric pattern because of the two lows to the east and west of it (in your image centered in Ohio and west of Oregon) become cut off from the jet stream. There is nothing to push these lows, so they sit and spin and maintain the ridging between them.

Our pattern is progressive across the US. Here is the 500mb pattern currently and you can compare for yourself.

I'd grant you that if the trough out west is slower and digs deeper that this may make the ridge marginally stronger and therefore a higher likelihood of landfall. But I'd like to see the models through the day today bear that out as the trough gets better sampled by the upper air network over North America.

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I know it is not coming our way, but it is still unsettling to see a major hurrican that close to home (S.Fl.)Praying for those up the east coast!
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earl looks to be getting more organized again am i correct
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Quoting QMiami:
Earl is a South Carolina to as far south as extreme north Florida storm, I can see that; perhaps I am the only person bold enough to state this, but that is my take.
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The reason the Omega Block isnt a good thing is because it will pull the low twords the ridge thus....

well I am just not going to say it
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
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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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