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 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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Nice Taz! Like the avatar. Been quite a few years since I've seen you in one of your avatars. Like five I think.
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by the way has any one noted any thing yet
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Long range GFS for a couple runs in a row now is showing things will heat up again in the 12-16 day range. Let's hope the troughs are still coming then...


...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.
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169. xcool
anytime
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Quoting jeffs713:

There isn't one.


That's what I thought too, until CIMSS Satellite Blog posted this picture of Earl:

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Earl's Cloud Top Heights. Peaking out at 16km or just over 50,000 ft.
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Inbound run





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98L

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163. amd
last post of the night for me:

Close to hurricane force sustained winds are now being measured at buoy 41046

12:44 am 62.2 kts N ( 7 deg true )

And, pressure is at or below 980 mb

12:48 am 28.93 in

Edit: Gusts are approaching 85 mph

12:43 am N ( 360 deg ) 73.8 kts
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Crap, Levi. Thanks, but Earl isn't, imo, all about what "category" it will be as it nears the OBX's. It can miss, miss by several miles and still be devastating.

This blog, and the NHC, needs to start talking about the water event. Look at the wave readings nearer the storm - 43 ft and above! That's significant. Earl's a fairly big storm - large windfield, pushing a lot of water. Tropical storm force winds extend either side for just over 200 miles.

Yup, dry air, some shear may inhibit, but even the good Doctor said on his show today that he didn't expect Earl to weaken significantly, until he makes his departure.

We've got to stop thinking about these systems in terms of hit or miss science - there's considerably more to consider.
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Long range GFS for a couple runs in a row now is showing things will heat up again in the 12-16 day range. Let's hope the troughs are still coming then...
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160. JLPR2
Quoting xcool:


Quoting iammothernature:


Is it this one?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic



lol xcool beat me to it. Here is the Link though.


Thank you!
I dont like that other one. ¬¬
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The Cape Verde storms just keep coming. Maybe the most activity and best formed systems i have seen.
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Quoting Walshy:




Would a weaker Earl cause him to recurve later? Or are we still right on target with a near brush of the OBX or slightly east?


Intensity makes little difference at this point unless he becomes a strong Cat 4-5 or dissipates, neither of which are likely to happen.
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Quoting Levi32:


Dry air is still doing a number on his core, which can be seen nicely in high-res water vapor. I think he peaked when he had that clear eye northeast of Puerto Rico, and won't make it back to that intensity. There is too much dry air in the way and yes wind shear will end up being a problem eventually as well. He's trying to rebuild his shattered eye wall right now but it's a slow process and any intensification past a low-mid Cat 4 is unlikely. In fact, there's a chance he could be only a Cat 2 as he passes North Carolina, though he could easily be a Cat 3 as well. Either way, he could easily pass close enough to bring hurricane conditions to the coast, and they should be ready.



Would a weaker Earl cause him to recurve later? Or are we still right on target with a near brush of the OBX or slightly east?
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98l is getting better organized.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 226
Quoting iammothernature:
DOES ANYBODY have a link to satellite image showing CLOUD TOP HEIGHTS (NOT temperatures)??????????????

I NEED a link badly.

There isn't one.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Xcool! hiya!
I was wondering if you post the link to the nice radar from the Antilles, not this one.


pretty please? :D


Is it this one?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic



lol xcool beat me to it. Here is the Link though.
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UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.1
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 01 SEP 2010 Time : 041500 UTC
Lat : 17:04:19 N Lon : 59:45:22 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.0 /1002.2mb/ 45.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
3.0 3.3 3.5
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151. xcool
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Glad to hear that SSIGUY, I knew that couldn't be you.
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Quoting bassis:


Any late night thoughts on Earl


Dry air is still doing a number on his core, which can be seen nicely in high-res water vapor. I think he peaked when he had that clear eye northeast of Puerto Rico, and won't make it back to that intensity. There is too much dry air in the way and yes wind shear will end up being a problem eventually as well. He's trying to rebuild his shattered eye wall right now but it's a slow process and any intensification past a low-mid Cat 4 is unlikely. In fact, there's a chance he could be only a Cat 2 as he passes North Carolina, though he could easily be a Cat 3 as well. Either way, he could easily pass close enough to bring hurricane conditions to the coast, and they should be ready.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Xcool! hiya!
I was wondering if you post the link to the nice radar from the Antilles, not this one.


pretty please? :D


There's another radar for the Lesser Antilles?
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147. xcool
JLPR2 hey
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Quoting Levi32:


Oh yeah, for sure. We've come a long way, and I am very happy not to have to decode everything and figure out where the plane is in relation to the storm center lol.


And I'm very thankful to not have to try and decode it and then end up saying "Now what the hell did that mean Levi?"

No problem Wariac
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Quoting StormJunkie:
RS...You can not "stare at goats"...No matter how much you want Earl to turn W; it is not going to happen. Quit with the nonsense. Forecast track is looking pretty dang solid right now...The only real questions are how close he comes to the OBX and the far NE.


Junkie, Earl is wobbling wnw right now. To me, that's as scary a notion as him moving pure west
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thanks Stormjunkie
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does any body have the model graphics for the new runs showing strength location and time?TIA
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Quoting Wariac:
Can somebody give me the link to the HH recon data?


Under wind data you will see Decoded Recon Data...The Google Earth file is there as well as regular reports.
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Quoting cheetaking:
Now it's starting to look like a single central eyewall might be starting to re-form...



That's over 2 and a half hours old.
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Quoting SCwannabe:


Quoting RecordSeason:
70:

Um...

there is a "weakness" oriented along the boundary between the ULL over alabama and the continental high, which is sort of bouncing around generally over Georgia right now.

If your numbers are right this is going to be really scary looking scenario for Florida, Georgia and SC tomorrow, and with that kind of speed, they'll run out of time fast...






IMO, yes, around noon tomorrow when the last remnants of the dearly departing Danielle weakness finally closes according to maritime sfc charts. Earl, at that time, can only move up against the sub-tropical high. And, natural coriolis should pull him around that high periphery towards the weakness you suggest - just my opinion.

Levi's here - see what he thinks.
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Quoting Eagle101:
Levi...how are doing Mister? Are you settled in now? How many hours you taking this semester...we need info! LOL!

I checked your blog for an update, guess you are getting busy up there. Take care. As much as I am going to miss regular updates, don't worry about us, take care of business there, much more important.

Very Respectfully,

Jon


I'm getting there....tomorrow is the last day of orientation before classes start. At that point, when we get into a set schedule, I'll see about finding time in the mornings for updates.
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RS...You can not "stare at goats"...No matter how much you want Earl to turn W; it is not going to happen. Quit with the nonsense. Forecast track is looking pretty dang solid right now...The only real questions are how close he comes to the OBX and the far NE.
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Good night all, wait until tomorrow before you get to excited sc/nc. May still cruise out to see for conus.Hope everyone in the islands are or were Ok.
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Quoting Levi32:


Google earth is the bomb.


Any late night thoughts on Earl
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Amen to that!!! Remember the days of trying to plot decoded recon messages Levi? So many amazing tools have come about just in the last five years alone.


Oh yeah, for sure. We've come a long way, and I am very happy not to have to decode everything and figure out where the plane is in relation to the storm center lol.
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Can somebody give me the link to the HH recon data?
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132. MrJef
Oh Boy...I take one vacation next week to the south NJ Shore all year, and it's the one week it looks like hurricanes are coming to say "Hi".

I arrive on Saturday, and hope it will turn out to be a good week, but I'm getting doubtful.

Interesting to see some of your new tracks being more inland, which worries me some.

Keep up the good work, as like usual, your guys having me refreshing the comments here for the latest info as apposed to the news outlets.
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Quoting xcool:
Earl look poor


He's just dressing down until his big premier night in a couple days...
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Quoting TexasHurricane:


Hi Levi, what do you think will happen with 98L?


It looks decent, but has a whole lot of dry air to contend with, which is probably why no models development. However, it could defy the models if it can remained well-defined and survive to come farther west.
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Levi...how are doing Mister? Are you settled in now? How many hours you taking this semester...we need info! LOL!

I checked your blog for an update, guess you are getting busy up there. Take care. As much as I am going to miss regular updates, don't worry about us, take care of business there, much more important.

Very Respectfully,

Jon
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126. 7544
Quoting RecordSeason:
Wow.

Updated surface pressure overlays again, and its about the same as before.

Based on these data, Earl "Should" make some considerable westward jogs during the next several hours, if not flat out turn west...

Earl Floater. Click MSLP

and

Extent of east to west Ridging back into Florida and the Gulf. Click MSLP


hmm could be something that didnt show before making earl turn more west does that put fla in the game tia
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HH is already getting 40mph surface winds in Earl
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RALEIGH -- North Carolina road crews are preparing to respond to Hurricane Earl with warnings about road closures, flooding, ferry cancellations and evacuation routes even if telephones die.

A hurricane watch for the Outer Banks was issued late Tuesday afternoon.

The state Transportation Department said Tuesday it is preparing bulldozers, electronic signs and other equipment in case of damage from the Category 4 hurricane churning through the Caribbean. Forecasters say Earl could skirt or hit the East Coast on Thursday.

"As we prepare our equipment and crews for whatever Mother Nature has in store we are also making every effort to provide North Carolina residents and visitors the information they need to stay safe," said Transportation Secretary Gene Conti.

DOT said it's also ready to provide instant information about travel conditions through its feeds on Twitter. Separate information feeds describe conditions on the state's northern and southern coasts, as well as ferries linking the mainland and islands.

Twitter is accessible on hand-held devices even if landline telephone service and electricity are disrupted.

SOURCE WXII12
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123. JLPR2
Quoting xcool:
Earl look poor


Xcool! hiya!
I was wondering if you post the link to the nice radar from the Antilles, not this one.


pretty please? :D
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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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