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 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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hmmm,...storm watching at midnight!...lol

My babies are in DC!...so I gotta watch for a few days..
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HurricaneEarl's heading had turned westward to 11.4degrees west of NorthWest
from its previous heading of 6.6degrees west of NorthNorthWest
H.Earl's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions was ~20.7mph(~33.3km/h)

31Aug . 03amGMT - - 19.9n65.8w - - 135mph - - 938mb - -NHC.Adv. #23
31Aug . 06amGMT - - 19.9n66.2w - - 135mph - - 933mb - - #23A
31Aug . 09amGMT - - 20.5n66.7w - - 135mph - - 931mb - - #24
31Aug . 12pmGMT - - 20.7n67.2w - - 135mph - - 931mb - - #24A
31Aug . 03pmGMT - - 21.2n67.9w - - 135mph - - 939mb - - #25
31Aug . 06pmGMT - - 21.5n68.5w - - 135mph - - 940mb - - #25A
31Aug . 09pmGMT - - 22.0n68.8w - - 135mph - - 940mb - - #26
01Sep . 12amGMT - - 22.5n69.1w - - 135mph - - 940mb - - #26A
01Sep . 03amGMT - - 23.0n69.9w - - 135mph - - 940mb - - #27

Copy&paste 19.9n65.8w, 19.9n66.2w, 20.5n66.7w, 20.7n67.2w, 21.2n67.9w-21.5n68.5w, 21.5n68.5w-22.0n68.8w, 22.0n68.8w-22.5n69.1w, 22.5n69.1w-23.0n69.9w, jax, 23.0n69.9w-29.24n81.1w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~38hours from now to DaytonaBeach,Florida
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Quoting StormJunkie:


There are a lot of tourists and residents from SC to Va...But Fla has more coastline than that in one state. Not to mention, the area that will feel Earls worst is the OBX, and that specific portion of the coastline is not nearly as populated as other areas like Charleston to Wilmington lets say.


Yes, there are a lot of people in that southeastern/northeastern block. But Highway 12 washes out after a good rainstorm, you wouldn't have to tell me to leave.
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:
Hello Foxy, SJ, taco, and orca and 1900 and oh dear, all of you here.
Nothing like making the last post in the old blog. lol So, here it is again. with additions.



Hi Cosmic,
You can see it clearly (ugh) at bl's post a couple pages back- gray WVL. (post 1500. in previous blog) He pointed out a big punch coming from NW to SE that has made its way in from Pac NW. I think what you're seeing in "the middle" where I live (OK) is not THE trough. THE trough is expected in OKlahoma Thurs eve/early Friday last I looked.

Could be wrong but that's my take on it.
:)

Howdy! Yup, and here is the same trough as analyzed by RUC on the SPC mesoanalysis page:



The biggest question now is just the speed of it.
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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!
Quoting moonlightcowboy:
Rob, y'all are gonna have to start talking more about the water event. Whether it makes landfall or not, waves and surge will still be significant, possibly catastrophic.
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Fiona looks terrible, but packing a lot of heavy rain...
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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
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Quoting Barefootontherocks:
Hello Foxy, SJ, taco, and orca and 1900 and oh dear, all of you here.
Nothing like making the last post in the old blog. lol So, here it is again. with additions.



Hi Cosmic,
You can see it clearly (ugh) at bl's post a couple pages back- gray WVL. (post 1500. in previous blog) He pointed out a big punch coming from NW to SE that has made its way in from Pac NW. I think what you're seeing in "the middle" where I live (OK) is not THE trough. THE trough is expected in OKlahoma Thurs eve/early Friday last I looked.

Could be wrong but that's my take on it.
:)
Thanks for making the daring cyber blog jump....lol...and of course for the information.
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From looking at WU's own Wundermap infrared satellite, it sure does appear Earl is moving just West of due NW. Try it, really zoom in on its center and watch the direction its moving.
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Quoting TORMENTOSO83:

hahahaha lol..
but seriously, I've been watching the loop image fron WU and she seems to be moving more west, last lat 16.9N,59.4W/ before she was 16.7N 57.7W....

btw I live in Vega Baja and the wind knocked donw a lot of trees and power lines, my front door is broke because of the wind, and a lot of banana plantation was damage!!!


Yeah, I saw some pictures in endi.com, seems my area was lucky. :]
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After carefully reviewing satellite imagery, there are no outflow boundaries shooting out from Earl, so it appears that aside from restricting some of Earl's upper level outflow to his south and east, dry air does not seem to him at the moment. It looks like he is keeping it at bay for now.
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:
Rob, y'all are gonna have to start talking more about the water event. Whether it makes landfall or not, waves and surge will still be significant, possibly catastrophic.


I agree mlc...The water is going to be the biggest problem for many immediate coastal areas. Although it may not be quite as bad if Earl can just stay a hair further offshore.
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Had som serious rain over the weekend but tonight is a beautiful evening in Kingston, Jamaica.
Nite all.
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I'm pretty sure I read (maybe the 11:00) discussion - said Earl would be xtratropical in four days.

Huh? Then, he's gonna have to put the pedal down!

I do think if the trough ever gets here, that Earl will look like he's been shot out of a cannon, but as the trough becomes more tilted, sorry, still not buying into it just yet.

Not scare tactics, not doomcasting; but frankly, really, I think folks along the eastern seaboard should be a bit scared. This storms does NOT have to make landfall to be deadly, to be catastrophic.
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Time to turn to the bow, mate! Hopefully!
Quoting Orcasystems:


Almost time to crash here also.. I did an update... but waiting for that darn HH to tell me if its still PORT of track :(
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Link
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Photobucket


I'm just not real sure about this Polar Bear trough yet! Lookin' more like a cub, up against 4 big cub eaters. Plus, you've the high digging, down from the nwest to split, inhibit, delay the longwave.

Maritime forecast has the dearly departing Danielle weakness effectively, and finally, "GONE" by somewhere around noon tomorrow. After that, I'm thinking Earl will no longer have the desire to move as much northwards, and that he will push more westwards up against the 1016-1018 (maybe 1020)mb high pressure, and then slow. Maybe that will give the polar bear trough time to tug him out to sea.

But, I ain't bettin' on it!
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Quoting JLPR2:


Shh! :P
But I dont think Fiona will change her track, at lest I don't for the moment, got to watch her just to be sure.
Susan Soltero did say Fiona could be a problem for PR so I'm all relax and not worried at all! LOL! XD

hahahaha lol..
but seriously, I've been watching the loop image fron WU and she seems to be moving more west, last lat 16.9N,59.4W/ before she was 16.7N 57.7W....

btw I live in Vega Baja and the wind knocked donw a lot of trees and power lines, my front door is broke because of the wind, and a lot of banana plantation was damage!!!
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Rob, y'all are gonna have to start talking more about the water event. Whether it makes landfall or not, waves and surge will still be significant, possibly catastrophic.
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Argh! Yes, watching them rolling off Africa - gives me the heebie jeebies...

Orca - FUBAR - that's a comforting thought!

{{{Barefoot}}}
Quoting taco2me61:

Yes indeed.... I have more cocerns about the next 3 storms past Fiona.... 98L, soon to be 99L and 90L will be to close for comfort.... If you know what i mean

Taco :o)
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Quoting ncweatherenthus:
Someone mentioned the NC coast being less populated than Florida or the Gulf. While that is true, at last count there were well over 1 million people along the coastline from SC to VA, and that's without counting tourists. Don't bash me for saying this but many people along the coast remember past storms but since it's been so long and the distrust amongst meteorologists leads them to a "It's not going to come here" approach.


There are a lot of tourists and residents from SC to Va...But Fla has more coastline than that in one state. Not to mention, the area that will feel Earls worst is the OBX, and that specific portion of the coastline is not nearly as populated as other areas like Charleston to Wilmington lets say.
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models nam ukmet gfs

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Can anybody please post the link to the Guadeloupe or St. Martin radar. Thanks!
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Quoting EricSFL:


I see. Well, at least you got your power back.


Hallelujah!
I felt miserable without power. :S
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Hello Foxy, SJ, taco, and orca and 1900 and oh dear, all of you here.
Nothing like making the last post in the old blog. lol So, here it is again. with additions.

Quoting CosmicEvents:
If I'm looking at it correctly, that trough has moved 150 miles or so through the dakotas...and bowed in a bit further south and moved maybe 200 miles through Kansas/Ok. So it does presently look more vertically aligned as the day has gone on. If I'm looking at the right thing. If I am, it also doesn't look like it's going to come fast enough to meet Earl, unless there's something else that's going to speed that trough up.


Hi Cosmic,
You can see it clearly (ugh) at bl's post a couple pages back- gray WVL. (post 1500. in previous blog) He pointed out a big punch coming from NW to SE that has made its way in from Pac NW. I think what you're seeing in "the middle" where I live (OK) is not THE trough. THE trough is expected in OKlahoma Thurs eve/early Friday last I looked.

Could be wrong but that's my take on it.
:)
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Quoting taco2me61:

Yes indeed.... I have more cocerns about the next 3 storms past Fiona.... 98L, soon to be 99L and 90L will be to close for comfort.... If you know what i mean

Taco :o)


I am pretty sure you guys are going to be FUBAR, its just a matter of which one?
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Quoting TORMENTOSO83:

I think if Fiona change her future track maybe PR will have another bad traffic mess as we had for Earl!!! lol


As far as I am concerned, Fiona is dead. She's got some low temp cloud tops, but shes gonna be sheared apart by Earl's outflow and then Earl will probably suck in most of her moisture.
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From the Buoy taking measurements, atm.

About how far in Nautical miles is Earl away? I know he's at least a lat/lon away. But how far is that?

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Quoting JLPR2:


Not bad at all, well I can only speak for my area, not sure how the rest of Carolina did. XD

Did loose power for 26hrs and many other areas did too, some trees down, leaves everywhere and the creek close to my house reached the very top, but no real damage to report, at least in my area. there is damage in other areas.


I see. Well, at least you got your power back.
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
You too - the storms bring us "oldies" out en masse! LOL

Yes indeed.... I have more cocerns about the next 3 storms past Fiona.... 98L, soon to be 99L and 90L will be to close for comfort.... If you know what i mean

Taco :o)
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Quoting TORMENTOSO83:

I think if Fiona change her future track maybe PR will have another bad traffic mess as we had for Earl!!! lol


Shh! :P
But I dont think Fiona will change her track, at lest I don't for the moment, got to watch her just to be sure.
Susan Soltero did say Fiona could be a problem for PR so I'm all relax and not worried at all! LOL! XD
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howdy everyone,

Earl seems to keep everyone on their toes doesnt he?
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Quoting Beachfoxx:
Thanks Big Fish - remind me that I should already be resting.... LOL
Work calls early in the a.m. but the addiction to storm watching is more powerful than my need for sleep. : )


Almost time to crash here also.. I did an update... but waiting for that darn HH to tell me if its still PORT of track :(
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Why did he say 130 mph when it is 135 mph???

"
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."
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Based on what i'm seeing (radar + IR sat), TS Fiona is gettin better organized
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Thanks Big Fish - remind me that I should already be resting.... LOL
Work calls early in the a.m. but the addiction to storm watching is more powerful than my need for sleep. : )
Quoting Orcasystems:


Its only 925 pm out west :)
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Quoting EricSFL:


Hey JLPR2. So how bad was Earl on Carolina?


Not bad at all, well I can only speak for my area, not sure how the rest of Carolina did. XD

Did loose power for 26hrs and many other areas did too, some trees down, leaves everywhere and the creek close to my house reached the very top, but no real damage to report, at least in my area. there is damage in other areas.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Fiona got the deeper convection now XD
Strange to see the convection on Earl this weak.


I think if Fiona change her future track maybe PR will have another bad traffic mess as we had for Earl!!! lol
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You too - the storms bring us "oldies" out en masse! LOL
Quoting taco2me61:

Hey BeachFoxx,
It is always good to see you :o)

:o)
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Odd to have a blog update so late at night...lol Thanks for catering to the night shift ;)


Its only 925 pm out west :)
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Poor buoy...





Those graphs sure look alot like exponential functions...
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Quoting iammothernature:
3 updates in 1 day? lol. Thanks Dr. Masters
Maybe to help out the servers?
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Not Dr.M it is Dr.Carver out in San Francisco, thanks for the late night wrap Dr.C look forward to more posts by you.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Fiona got the deeper convection now XD
Strange to see the convection on Earl this weak.



Hey JLPR2. So how bad was Earl on Carolina?
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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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