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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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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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...

That's just silly. No indications from ANY reliable sources even remotely support that.
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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...


I posed that same ? earlier, but nobody responded. I was wondering if Earl would feel that weakness on the SW portion of the High??
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Now it's starting to look like a single central eyewall might be starting to re-form...

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Quoting Levi32:


Google earth is the bomb.


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.
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Quoting xcool:
Earl look poor


And that's a good thing!!
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117. xcool
oh yeah soon my hurricanes season come end i going miss blog
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115. xcool
Earl look poor
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Quoting Levi32:


Antilles radar and shortwave IR suggest under the northern side of the deep convection, and Dvorak agrees.



Hi Levi, what do you think will happen with 98L?
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina are now out of the picture regarding landfall.


I know that guy in here earlier was not you....did he just make a similar name or did he actually hack your system??
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Thanks for the update Dr. Carver. Hopefully, the folks on this board will be keeping friends and relatives abreast of Earl. My son and daughter-in-law just relocated to Delaware (promotion), so you can bet I am keeping a close eye on events as they develope. Reassuring my wife, well, that is a different story. Everyone take care.

Very Respectfully,

Jon
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Quoting Levi32:


Antilles radar and shortwave IR suggest under the northern side of the deep convection, and Dvorak agrees.



thats interesting
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Oh boy oh fun... two HH in separate storms.




I am not even going to mention the red square :)




Google earth is the bomb.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Oh boy oh fun... two HH in separate storms.




I am not even going to mention the red square :)




Google earth is the bomb.
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Check out Taiwan Radar:



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107. JLPR2
Quoting Levi32:


Antilles radar and shortwave IR suggest under the northern side of the deep convection, and Dvorak agrees.



ah! dang!
So Fiona isn't doing bad for the moment, probably tasting warmer waters.
Will be interesting to see if it holds or falls apart.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
07L 08L 98L
Very cool setup!
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DOES ANYBODY have a link to satellite image showing CLOUD TOP HEIGHTS (NOT temperatures)??????????????

I NEED a link badly.
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Oh boy oh fun... two HH in separate storms.




I am not even going to mention the red square :)


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103. 7544
hi everyone hate to say but is earl goingg west again at this hour tia
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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...


This is not going to be a scary scenario for Fla or Ga and very unlikely that it is even the least bit scary for SC...Other than rip currents and erosion for all those places. NC north still could be looking at a landfall...But my very uneducated guess right now is that this stays offshore and coastal areas from NC N get some 50-60mph gusts.
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Haven't paid a great deal of attention to Fiona until a bit ago somewhat. IMO, it looks as if Earl is robbing some of Fiona's energy. But, it looks more split, and the vorticity remains south of that - makes sense, since Earl's winds are more upper level there.

That leaves the low-level coc intact, but further south. Granted, Fiona will still have to face some of Earl's northerly shear further west, unless Earl lifts out more quickly. That could certainly inhibit Fiona, but once she gets across 60 west and finds the hot Carib waters and high TCHP, restrengthening is definitely possible. She won't need much there, just a lil something to get it back going.
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98 is getting better organized.....
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07L 08L 98L
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Odd to have a blog update so late at night...lol Thanks for catering to the night shift ;)


Hi, SJ and everyone else, too.

It would seem that they have become less certain of the forecasted track, thus the need for a mid-night update.
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0z UKMET is like 300 miles NW of the 18z run, now passing 35m east of Hatteras instead of hundreds of miles offshore and out to sea.
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Quoting JadeInAntigua:


I was wondering that too. In any event, she'll be reaching us soon.

hey, I hope you did well when Earl passed near Antigua!! How it was? It hit really hard?
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Quoting JLPR2:
Looking good, now the question is, is the center under the deep convection or rather displaced to the north of it?



Antilles radar and shortwave IR suggest under the northern side of the deep convection, and Dvorak agrees.

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The newest microwave pass is just in, and even with its low quality, it confirms my suspicions of Earl's organization. The eyewall seems to be complete again, albeit still somewhat weak in the south.

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sigh...
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Quoting alfabob:


RAMSDIS shows recent WNW movement, possibly even W-WNW.


Weebles wobble, but they don"t fall down...
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0z GFS poofs 98L.
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Raleigh NC became the most populace place in the state recently. Passed Charlotte, but the population in Raleigh is a bit more spread out than the compact city of Charlotte.

However, Earl should stay east of Raleigh. OBX is much less populated with swampy lands. People do live there of course. Hope the beach houses stay safe!

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some dry air is about to get in...check out WV loop
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Looking good, now the question is, is the center under the deep convection or rather displaced to the north of it?

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Quoting Orcasystems:


If its to port again.. you are going to see a model shift... bring in landfall points all the way up the eastern seaboard (uneducated guess)


Another Hard to Larbord??
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So we've got two planes in the air huh? Fiona and Earl missions.
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Ditto! Especially the waves... the barrier islands are going to take a beating...

BTW, love your avatar! hehehe

and the Polar Bear! #53.

O.K. I'm taking the first step of the 12 Step Program for beating Storm addiction....
1. Turn off computer & go to bed.

Night all!



Dayum fine avatar you got there, Beach! Dayumed fine! ;P Have a good sleep!
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Quoting ackee:
wondering if Fiona trying to reform it centre further south where convection is look like getting better organized also 98L look likes its getting act together this might be the first storms to enter the carrbean this seasons

I was thinking the same thing!!!
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Thanks posts 70 and 72 for confirming what I thought.--Even more West than I thought.
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HH's are flying to Fiona just left the runway now
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been a lurker for quite sometime here. have to admit it's contagous. seems to me that the lower part of fiona is dettached from the upper fiona now and going thru the lower islands. I know that nothing is supposed to develope from her. but it sure seems like with all that pent up energy in the carribean right now that something odd could come of it , and in quick order. may bear watching in the near term. just saying
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Quoting EricSFL:
Can anybody please post the link to the Guadeloupe or St. Martin radar. Thanks!





Link
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Thanks for making the daring cyber blog jump....lol...and of course for the information.


YW. lol, daring? moi?

Good night and Wednesday to all!
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Quoting swflurker:
Time to turn to the bow, mate! Hopefully!


If its to port again.. you are going to see a model shift... bring in landfall points all the way up the eastern seaboard (uneducated guess)
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Quoting ackee:
wondering if Fiona trying to reform it centre further south where convection is look like getting better organized also 98L look likes its getting act together this might be the first storms to enter the carrbean this seasons


I was wondering that too. In any event, she'll be reaching us soon.
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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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