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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000
ABNT20 KNHC 311754
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT TUE AUG 31 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
EARL...LOCATED ABOUT 170 MILES EAST OF GRAND TURK...AND ON TROPICAL
STORM FIONA...LOCATED ABOUT 335 MILES EAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS.

A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IS LOCATED ABOUT 425 MILES WEST-
SOUTHWEST OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS. THE ASSOCIATED SHOWER AND
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY HAS CHANGED LITTLE IN ORGANIZATION TODAY...
AND DEVELOPMENT...IF ANY...WILL BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS THE SYSTEM
MOVES WESTWARD NEAR 15 MPH. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...
OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

PUBLIC ADVISORIES ON FIONA ARE ISSUED UNDER WMO HEADER WTNT33 KNHC
AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER MIATCPAT3. FORECAST/ADVISORIES ON FIONA ARE
ISSUED UNDER WMO HEADER WTNT23 KNHC AND UNDER AWIPS HEADER
MIATCMAT3.

$$
FORECASTER BERG
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CONUS high bridging further out now.
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221. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting iammothernature:
DOES ANYBODY have a link to satellite image showing CLOUD TOP HEIGHTS (NOT temperatures)??????????????

click pic for link.
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I thought about it mlc...But then the HWRF is right around 2, then you got to wait for the GFDL at 2:25ish, then by three the early cycles are out...Can't do it again tonight ;)

Really off to dreamland now.
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yep Hurricanes101. instead of arguing about Earl's projected path people are arguing about Katrina from five years ago. maybe I'm tired but I find it ridiculous.
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I'm about to head to bed myself, after lurking for the 1:00 update.
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How much is the intensity of 98L being suppressed by the cold water upwelling of the storms that passed before it?
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Quoting twooks:


Actually, NHC got Katrina wrong and pretty badly at first. They had it hitting the panhandle of FL forever after it crossed the southern tip. That's what he was referring too. But in general, I'd have to say the NHC does a fairly decent job. A horrible job here and there doesn't make me lose confidence in them, they are humans after all :P.
exactly. They were wrong and wrong again but they were right at the end with plenty of time for preperations to be made.
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Quoting iammothernature:


forecasting a hurricane is a very hard thing to do.


Which is why I never put 100% confidence in the models, or the forecasts from the NHC or Wunderground or Weather Channel. Especially in the early life of a tropical storm, it seems models get increasingly accurate as the storm gets older.
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Have a good sleep, Nightshifters! ;P


LINK

Thought a few of you might stick around for the next runs.
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wow is this blog actually arguing about whether the NHC got right or wrong a storm that was 5 years ago?

lol
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Have a good sleep, SJ. Things likely to tighten up shorely! ;P
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam out see ya at sunrise


Ditto
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Quoting RecordSeason:
180:

yeah, because the NHC and weather channel always gets it right, huh?

Tell that BS to Katrina victims.

I said nothing about The Weather Channel, but that's beside the point. I do, however, trust the NHC more than some person on a blog who makes an outlandish statement that goes against everything the experts are predicting. Are they wrong sometimes? Sure. So am I. And as we now know, so are you.
You've made your bold prediction, insinuating that you know more than the collective braintrust that actually does this for a living, so I guess we'll just sit back and see.
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iam out see ya at sunrise
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54272
Here's the 0z UKMET





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Quoting hulazigzag:
NHC did get that right there was 2 days warning for them to get out.


Actually, NHC got Katrina wrong and pretty badly at first. They had it hitting the panhandle of FL forever after it crossed the southern tip. That's what he was referring too. But in general, I'd have to say the NHC does a fairly decent job. A horrible job here and there doesn't make me lose confidence in them, they are humans after all :P.
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Quoting hulazigzag:
NHC did get that right there was 2 days warning for them to get out.


They got it right in the last 2 days. Before that they were calling for Florida panhandle strike. And it's really not the NHC's fault, or any other forecasters, its just forecasting a hurricane is a very hard thing to do.
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Looking at 98L I really do not see it fizzing out like Fiona will. It is far enough away and if Earl keeps moving North then I see 98L possibly heading into the carribean. Anyone else agree? I really just dont see why they are calling for 98L to die out. It seems to be forming nicely.
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Ok, I have made an executive decision...I'm going to bed. Night all.
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201. xcool
haha
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Quoting JLPR2:


Night!


Forgive if you are having to repeat info but I been reeeel buzy today.....did you have any damage??
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Quoting RecordSeason:
180:

yeah, because the NHC and weather channel always gets it right, huh?

Tell that BS to Katrina victims.
NHC did get that right there was 2 days warning for them to get out.
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Quoting leddyed:

Thank you for the lesson. I'm surprised the NHC, NOAA and the NWS haven't recruited you for your decidedly superior knowledge and resources.
But you're just wrong; FL, GA and SC are NOT in play, and that'll be obvious by tomorrow night, by which time you'll be long gone. End of story.


TROOOOOOOOLOLOLOL.
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Quoting CoffinWood:


80,000 plus so far!
Is that good?
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194. JLPR2
Quoting EricSFL:
Goodnight everyone.


Night!
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No kidding about that wobble - I want Earl a good 200 miles off our shore. Seas & winds are dead calm here tonight - warm & humid but that touch of fall in the air none the less - praying mantis are in their fall browns & the muscadines are plentiful; huge purple & heavy. Got to pick them & all the tomatoes & peppers I can stand to can up tomorrow after going to get pears from a friend's tree - they'll all hit the ground otherwise & it'll keep me busy. Getting a propane delivery tomorrow - generator is running well. If we decide to shutter up we can get 'er done in 20 minutes. We'll see - would hate to evacuate with the critters but will go rather than drown - 16 feet above sea level & < 150 yards to the ocean makes evacuation suggestions prudent.
So will check on wobbles early in the am.
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Goodnight everyone.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



thanks moon


80,000 plus so far!
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This is the last weather advisory I remember from the NHC on Rita, in 2005. It's chilling, and a reminder of what we went through for 24 grueling hours. Folks, on the Outer Banks, listen to the warnings, be prepared and use common sense. Don't ride it out like I did in Rita.

(I removed the NHC comments for fear someone would take them as new. Sorry about that.)
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you made it over 80,000 comments but 60,000 of them was you talking to yer self


lol
just ribbing taz
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54272
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Thank you keeper you do a great job on this blog.
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Yes, but you were here before '06 correct? Changed your handle once or twice didn't you ¿~)



we can talk more about this in my blog not here
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:
SJ and Taz - both, E X C E L L E N T avatars! BRAVO!



thanks moon
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Quoting Tazmanian:


but all so look be low where it says Member Since:


Yes, but you were here before '06 correct? Changed your handle once or twice didn't you ¿~)
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Quoting RecordSeason:
137:

Ok, do you know how to read overlays and steering charts?

hint:

1) highs tend to accelerate storms clockwise relative to the core of the high, and along their isobars. in this case, the storm is south of several layers of east to west oriented lines associated with the high over virginia. This implies imminent acceleration to the west.

2) The wind overlays on the SSD site all point to the ESE for mid and lower layer.

3) The trough is like a week away at this rate.

Thank you for the lesson. I'm surprised the NHC, NOAA and the NWS haven't recruited you for your decidedly superior knowledge and resources.
But you're just wrong; FL, GA and SC are NOT in play, and that'll be obvious by tomorrow night, by which time you'll be long gone. End of story.
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179. JLPR2
Quoting traumaboyy:


Hey JLPR2....saw you were on earlier.....when I did a drive by between patients.....Glad you are OK!!


:D Thank you!
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SJ and Taz - both, E X C E L L E N T avatars! BRAVO!
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Nice Taz! Like the avatar. Been quite a few years since I've seen you in one of your avatars. Like five I think.



thanks what you think of 98L
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Taz, I am noting that I really should be going to bed!
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,
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Quoting JLPR2:




Thank you!
I dont like that other one. ¬¬


Hey JLPR2....saw you were on earlier.....when I did a drive by between patients.....Glad you are OK!!
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Quoting EricSFL:


...or not. Remember it all depends on the direction the storms are coming from. A trough may actually pull a storm in the Caribbean toward the US.


I was thinking more along the lines of hoping that the ones that keep the storms out of the Carib...They have been fairly frequent and strong so far this year.
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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.