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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1521. wjdow
Quoting medicroc:
One thing about that person no one wants quoted: he is a persistent sob.


yeah, but at least he doesn't yell like the others on my ignore list (:
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NEW BLOG!!!
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1519. IKE
NEW BLOG!
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Hurricane Warning

HURRICANE EARL LOCAL STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY NC
1123 AM EDT WED SEP 1 2010

...LARGE HURRICANE EARL THREATENS PORTIONS OF THE MID ATLANTIC
COAST...HURRICANE WARNINGS ISSUED...

.AREAS AFFECTED...
THIS LOCAL STATEMENT PROVIDES IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR PEOPLE AND MARINE INTERESTS IN SELECT
LOCATIONS AND COASTAL WATER LEGS OF EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA AND
ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS.

.WATCHES/WARNINGS...
A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS...
WASHINGTON...TYRRELL...MAINLAND DARE...BEAUFORT...MAINLAND HYDE...
CRAVEN...PAMLICO...CARTERET...OUTER BANKS DARE AND OUTER BANKS
HYDE.

FOR MARINE INTERESTS...A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR ALL
OF ATLANTIC COASTAL WATERS INCLUDING ALBEMARLE AND PAMLICO
SOUNDS.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE FOLLOWING
LOCATIONS...ONSLOW.

.STORM INFORMATION...
AT 11 AM EDT...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE EARL WAS LOCATED NEAR
LATITUDE 25.1N...LONGITUDE 72.1W. THIS WAS ABOUT 730 MILES
SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF BUXTON NC...OR ABOUT 720 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST
OF MOREHEAD CITY NC.

STORM MOTION WAS NW OR 320 DEGREES AT 17 MPH. STORM INTENSITY WAS
125 MPH.

.SITUATION OVERVIEW...
HURRICANE EARL WILL PASS EAST OF NORTH CAROLINA STARTING
THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE AREA THROUGH
FRIDAY AFTERNOON. INCREASED WINDS AND RAIN ARE LIKELY ALONG THE
OUTER BANKS AND COASTAL COUNTIES...AND THE COASTAL WATERS FROM
CAPE LOOKOUT TO DUCK...INCLUDING THE ALBEMARLE AND PAMLICO
SOUNDS...BEGINNING THURSDAY MORNING AND CONTINUING INTO FRIDAY
AFTERNOON. STRONG RIP CURRENTS AND LARGE BREAKING WAVES ARE ALSO
LIKELY.

.PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

FOR INLAND LOCATIONS...TROPICAL CYCLONE CONDITIONS ARE ASSOCIATED
WITH HIGH WIND...BUT FOR COASTAL LOCATIONS AND PLACES PRONE TO
COASTAL FLOODING...THEY ARE ASSOCIATED WITH BOTH HIGH WIND AND
STORM SURGE. FOR THE MARINE WATERS...TROPICAL CYCLONE CONDITIONS
ARE ASSOCIATED WITH HIGH WIND AND DANGEROUS SEAS. TROPICAL
CYCLONES ARE COMPRISED OF HURRICANES...TROPICAL STORMS... AND
TROPICAL DEPRESSIONS. HURRICANES HAVE WINDS OF 74 MPH OR
HIGHER...WHICH EQUATES TO 64 KNOTS OR HIGHER. TROPICAL STORMS HAVE
WINDS OF 39 TO 73 MPH...WHICH EQUATES TO 34 TO 63 KNOTS. TROPICAL
DEPRESSIONS HAVE WINDS OF LESS THAN 39 MPH OR 33 KNOTS.

A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT THE STATED CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
WITHIN THE NEXT 36 HOURS FOR THE SPECIFIED AREAS. A TROPICAL STORM
WARNING MEANS THAT THE STATED CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE
NEXT 36 HOURS FOR THE SPECIFIED AREAS. IN ORDER TO MAKE THE BEST
DECISIONS...BE SURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE TERMINOLOGY AND
DEFINITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH TROPICAL CYCLONE EVENTS.

&&

.NEXT UPDATE...
THE NEXT LOCAL STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE IN NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY SHORTLY. IT WILL PROVIDE
IMPORTANT DETAILS REGARDING THE EVOLVING TROPICAL CYCLONE THREATS
AND THEIR POTENTIAL IMPACTS UPON THE AREA.

NCZ045>047-080-081-093>095-103-104-021530-
/O.UPG.KMHX.HU.A.1007.000000T0000Z-000000T0000Z/
/O.NEW.KMHX.HU.W.1007.100901T1523Z-000000T0000Z/
WASHINGTON-TYRRELL-MAINLAND DARE-BEAUFORT-MAINLAND HYDE-CRAVEN-
PAMLICO-CARTERET-OUTER BANKS DARE-OUTER BANKS HYDE-
1123 AM EDT WED SEP 1 2010

...HURRICANE WARNING IN EFFECT...

...NEW INFORMATION...
A HURRICANE WARNING HAS NOW BEEN ISSUED. A MORE DETAILED
STATEMENT WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY.

$$

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1517. raggpr
Quoting kwgirl:
Yes, the Keys were similarily hit. I happened to be on vacation. Would you believe they wouldn't let the bars open. First time in my memory! Needless to say, I didn't come back until the lights were on and the bars open. LOL


LOL! what a vacation!
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75W is critical point, that will tell the tale, at what angle he's moving and speed, at 75W will call the game
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Quoting newportrinative:


Uuumm, there are people that do get excited when a hurricane is knocking on thier door so yes, the poster was correct to say there will be disappointed people if the track changes.
Where in the post did he said anything about wishing for death/mayhem???
Don't jump to conlusions........

Well the people that get excited...wasn't there for Katrina..I was...nothing to get excited about believe me...
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1514. trey33
Quoting TexasGulf:


You obviously haven't lived through a hurricane and the immediate aftermath.



The looting after Andrew was horrific. Trust me. You WANT law enforcement there.
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Quoting pensacolastorm:

That fool obviously hasnt sat in the dark for 5 weeks with no water or power or gasoline or beer...

Yep, even 2 weeks in a hot house with few lights at night is unpleasant as is chain sawing through multiple trees.
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The magnetic field of the earth is bringing Earl closer and closer to Florida.
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It's interesting looking at hurricanes of the past in this particular area of the country. Especially so for those of us interested in wave height and surge impact.

If Earl moves just a tiny bit west-- well the history doesn't look good--AT ALL!

I got this information from hurricaneville.com

"The Great Chesapeake Bay Hurricane of 1769--This hurricane plagued the Mid-Atlantic coast from North Carolina up into the Chesapeake over the two days of September 7-8, 1769, and was probably one of the strongest storms in the Mid-Atlantic during the 18th Century. It made landfall near New Bern, North Carolina, and laid that town in ruin as tides rose 12 feet above normal. Most notably, it caused widespread damage to the Stratford Hall plantation, which belonged to the family of famous confederate General Robert E. Lee."

"Hurricane of October, 1749--The storm was perhaps one of the strongest storm ever in the Mid-Atlantic. According to Rick Schwartz, the hurricane produced a huge tidal surge of 15 feet. Based upon that observation, many experts believe that this system was a Category Four on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. It was responsible for creating Willoughby Spit, a small area of land near Norfolk that was inside the Chesapeake Bay."



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1509. IKE
NEW BLOG!
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1508. IKE
NEW BLOG!
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Beer? Check. Stocked for the storm...
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Don't know if comments appearing are slow going atm or not, but New Blog.
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NEW BLOG
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Quoting hydrus:
It certainly increases the risk of the center making landfall.


Haven't I heard the phrase "making a run for the coast"... sometimes it at least SEEMS like they do :)
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Hey Jeff, not that I can compete with your blog but I do a little blogging too, check it out.

Link
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1502. dmh1026
new blog
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New blog!
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1499. myway
Storm
Are you out there?
Is your update coming out soon?
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1497. at519
Does anyone on this blog know the IKE number of Earl? No pun intended but Ike had an IKE number of a catagory 4 but the winds of a category 2. The storm surge caught a lot of people off guard here on the upper Texas coast. They ended up in a debris pile 15 miles on the other side of westbay! I think the OBX better stay on their toes and get out of dodge....
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Where is the Doctors blog update this morning?
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1494. trey33
Quoting pensacolastorm:

That fool obviously hasnt sat in the dark for 5 weeks with no water or power or gasoline or beer...


you are right (Andrew)
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1493. hydrus
Quoting pensacolastorm:

That fool obviously hasnt sat in the dark for 5 weeks with no water or power or gasoline or beer...
Water, power and gas o.k. BUT BEER? Why? Stock up:)
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Quoting pensacolastorm:

That fool obviously hasnt sat in the dark for 5 weeks with no water or power or gasoline or beer...

NO BEER!!! The inhumanity!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Quoting MahFL:
I wonder exactly which law allows the cops to stop non residents crossing the bridge ?
Isn't the USA the land of the free ?


You obviously haven't lived through a hurricane and the immediate aftermath.

Land of the free? IF North Carolina, Virginia, Long Island, etc... takes a direct hit from Earl and damage is extensive, watch how fast the national guard and police begin taking control of the situation.

If you have evacuated and the coastal county is severely damaged, then expect to be kept OUT of your county for up to several weeks. The Nat.Gd. will set up on county line at all major roads and stop vehicles from entering if they are not part of the relief effort.

In SE Texas, they set dusk-to-dawn curfews for all residents who chose to stay. Anyone caught out after dark is suspected of looting or whatever, but will be locked up overnight at least. Basically, until order is restored, expect some of those precious 'rights' to be put on hold for a while.

That's just reality after a hurricane hits a region hard. The police or Guard can't do anything about your dog you left at home with no food or water. They can't let you in to see if your home is OK, or to get something out of the house. If there is a ban on residents returning to the county, that means NOBODY gets in if you aren't part of the relief effort.

Police might ban travel on certain roads. They could restrict access to certain areas along the coast, even into particular neighborhoods.

Rules are imposed after a hurricane that some people won't like, but that's life.

My advice is, if you plan to evacuate, learn who in your neighborhood is going to stay and then get their cell phone #'s. Get #'s for several people. One might be able to check out your house for you. Someone may be able to feed your goldfish or bird for you if you aren't allowed to return for 2-weeks. If you are going to stay, but your neighbors are evacuating, give them your cell phone # just in case they need something.
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Quoting FloatingCity:

How in God's name will that disappoint people...are you wishing for death and mayhem???? sicko


Uuumm, there are people that do get excited when a hurricane is knocking on thier door so yes, the poster was correct to say there will be disappointed people if the track changes.
Where in the post did he said anything about wishing for death/mayhem???
Don't jump to conlusions........
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Is Delaware less likely to receive damage and bad weather because of where it lies between the Outer Banks and LI?
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1486. hydrus
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:


yea but Hugo was a cat 5 at the time not a cat 3
It s outer bands were very powerful as it was approaching the U.S.
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Quoting FloatingCity:

How in God's name will that disappoint people...are you wishing for death and mayhem???? sicko

That fool obviously hasnt sat in the dark for 5 weeks with no water or power or gasoline or beer...
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1484. ncstorm
Quoting futuremet:


It will continue to move faster.


Yeah someone will be missing his ride out to sea if he continues to speed up and it wont be just the outerbanks, I see this as a lower SC/NC issue with landfall
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If earl gets to 76 west look out...if only to 75 I think all will be safe.
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1482. bird72
Quoting raggpr:
Here it comes! Interesting that this season looks just like 1998. You know guys that Gaston was the replace name for Georges. And did you remember what georges did. It will be interesting to see if this ends to be a track like georges, even thou intensity seems to be different. This should be weaker.

Georges was a category 4 hurricane but not be very powerful when pass through PR. Only 110 miles per hour. Looking how Danielle and Earl develop, td9 maybe going to become a major hurricane also.
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Quoting FloatingCity:

How in God's name will that disappoint people...are you wishing for death and mayhem???? sicko


You can like hurricanes without wishing bad things on people.
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1477. kwgirl
Quoting raggpr:
I

I live in PR and I didn't have water for almost 1.5 weeks and electricity for about 1 month. The problem was that some electrical lines and posts were down and there was no way the electric company could repair it fast. It was really suprising how we help each other. The line of houses in front had power so what we did is that we cross a lot of power lines from one side to another. Driving trough the road was like passing over a million bumps. We divided in half the payment for that month to the houses in front. That is what i like about hurricanes people get together and help each other.
Yes, the Keys were similarily hit. I happened to be on vacation. Would you believe they wouldn't let the bars open. First time in my memory! Needless to say, I didn't come back until the lights were on and the bars open. LOL
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Quoting newportrinative:


Exactly!!!!

I learned it the hard way. Once I had so many people on my ignore list I clicked onto the forum and was staring at a blank page!
(Only kidding, never hit the button once:)
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Quoting btwntx08:

too far to say bahamas and fl first lets see how it goes in the lesser antilles

its not 7 yet no ts yet only td


You re rigth . That's why I'm saying that we are just 5mph to get up to 7-3-2.
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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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