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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1423. JamesSA
Quoting NEwxguy:
I'm at the point where I wish we could get rid of the quote button.

I think the +/- scoring system could be utilized to disable the quote button on people with an extremely negative score, while preserving it for those whose score suggests they post stuff worth quoting. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

...But it would be nice if people just stopped quoting them.
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So did the 11am actually shift left or right? or no shift?
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Outer bands of Earl have flight level winds of 70 knts.. that is incredible
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1419. markot
gaston looks like trouble....
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 226
1418. dader
My bad guys- I didn't realize he was a troll. I was just quoting him to say his comment made no sense to me- now i understand. Seriously, this is a weather chat/blog, not a dedicated channel. Relax
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1417. angiest
Here is a quick look at some storms that have taken the more southerly path trough the Atlantic and Caribbean.

pre gaston historical comparison
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to be fair, how the hell is anyone supposed to know who is on someone else's Ignore list?? And if they choose not to ignore that person, who are you guys to tell them to ignore that person??

That said, apocalyps is a troll.
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1414. unf97
Well, the NHC has upgraded to warnings now for the NC coastal areas. Needless to say, folks there need to act now to get out.
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1412. TDogg
Been here long enough to know who's legit and who's a quack. If you want your comments read, don't quote quacks. Simple, really. If the comment doesn't make any kind of sense, a quack is posting. The Ignore icon is your friend.
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i can't believe they haven't issued evacuations for residents and the remaining areas of Dare County. This is absurd.
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So we are 5 miles per hour away to have a new box score:

7-3-2
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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 ?


Emergency powers statutes that allow hold on some civil liberties during a declared emergency which is what has occurred.
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1408. Bonedog
THIS IS THE
SOLUTION UNANIMOUSLY PROVIDED BY TRACK MODELS...WHICH HAVE EARL
PASSING TO THE EAST BUT NOT FAR FROM THE OUTER BANKS OF NORTH
CAROLINA BETWEEN 36 AND 48 HOURS. ONLY A SMALL WESTWARD DEVIATION
TO THE TRACK TO THE WEST WOULD BRING THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE
TO THE COAST.



uggggg not good again. I have a sinking feeling every update. I will be glad once Earl spins itself into oblivion.
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1405. 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.
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1404. unf97
Quoting hydrus:
Check out the heavy duty ridge that moves in as Earl moves out. This could possibly shove Fiona and future Gaston(which I believe will be named soon)west. And if this ridge persists, whatever becomes of our wave train will be heading west too...Doom.....DOOM!....jk...I dont like doom.


No question, ridging will definitely become more pronounced across the tropical Atlantic in the long term.

That long awaited pattern change StormW has talked about for the past couple of weeks just may be coming to fruition now unfortunately.
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1403. Jax82
11am Earl
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For the sake of all of the people that are going to ignore this storm, I hope you are right.

I agree with you 100%.....A major hurricane actually impacting the Eastern Seabord North of the Carolinas is a preparation awareness nightmare because most folks think they only impact Florida and the Gulf and could never happen up there......... :)
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StormW,
If you have time can you explain what the NHC means in the discussion on TD 9 that the Global Models are confusing it with the Monsoonal trof? I don't recall both the GFS and ECMWF failing to show something out there.
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Quoting will40:
A HURRICANE WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED
STATES FROM BOGUE INLET NORTH CAROLINA NORTHEASTWARD TO THE NORTH
CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER...INCLUDING THE PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE
SOUNDS.


Wow, definitely won't be going out on the boat in Little Washington this weekend...
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NHC has now issued Hurricane Warning for NC coast including all of the OBX.
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Stop quoting the people who are quoting the people who are quoting the people who are quoting the Trolls that are quoting .... Uh .... I forgot my point. Sorry
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Quoting NEwxguy:
I'm at the point where I wish we could get rid of the quote button.


Same, I'm missing the old days back in '07 where people just quoted the post number.
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WOW....TD9 on the scene!
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1394. will40
Quoting NEwxguy:
I'm at the point where I wish we could get rid of the quote button.


i agree i have e_mailed admin but not looking for a reply lol
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1393. JamesSA
TD09 with his slightly more southerly course looks like trouble.
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1392. Bonedog
No problem Storm.

Just doing my part. Following the rules and all.

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1391. 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 ?
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1390. will40
A HURRICANE WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED
STATES FROM BOGUE INLET NORTH CAROLINA NORTHEASTWARD TO THE NORTH
CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER...INCLUDING THE PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE
SOUNDS.
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1389. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
MODELS NAM UKMET GFS

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54469
1388. NEwxguy
I'm at the point where I wish we could get rid of the quote button.
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Quoting Jax82:
TD09


This "cluster" of CV storms might continue over the next few weeks as we approach the statistical peak on Sept 10th........Here is the reminder from the 1998 season that Dr. M used as a possible analog for this year:

In a remarkable span of 35 days, starting on Aug. 19 and ending on Sept. 23, 10 named tropical cyclones formed. That's about a whole season's worth of activity crammed into a month. Four of them made landfall in the United States. In addition, Jeanne and Karl affected the Cape Verde Islands and Bermuda respectively, while three others passed near or over the Azores.
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Quoting raggpr:
navy site already put TD 9 on their website


Do you have a link for this???
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No offence taken....If you want to know the truth (how I think), I have a lot of faith in NHC and between the approaching trof and the models runs, I am pretty confident in their forecast at this point; what I was not doing for the last several days was joining the westcast group and hoping that the off shore track would hold in the end. In fact, and you may have missed this post, I mentioned 3 days ago that marine interests along the Eastern Seabord shuold go ahead and make plans and arrangements for safe harbour just in case (and e-mailed my Bud with a beach house on the Outer Banks 5 days ago to tell him to go ahead and board up just in case- which he did).

No harm No Foul.......I am hoping that the models and NHC continue to keep it offshore.


For the sake of all of the people that are going to ignore this storm, I hope you are right.
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1383. hydrus
Quoting Bonedog:
Thunder only way NYC goes under a watch would be if they are placed inside the cone between now and 11pm.

Check out the heavy duty ridge that moves in as Earl moves out. This could possibly shove Fiona and future Gaston(which I believe will be named soon)west. And if this ridge persists, whatever becomes of our wave train will be heading west too...Doom.....DOOM!....jk...I dont like doom.
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1382. hydrus
< sry.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
THE STORM IS NOT HEADING TO FLA GIVE IT A REST YOU ARE REALLY MAKING YOURSELF LOOK FOOLISH


Common, it'd be much more effective if you stopped quoting him. It really throws the ignore feature out the window.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
IF THE
STORM WEAKENS QUICKLY...THE LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION WILL LIKELY GET
CAUGHT UP IN SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW AHEAD OF EARL. HOWEVER...IF FIONA
STAYS A MORE COHERENT VORTEX...THERE REMAINS THE POTENTIAL FOR IT
TO GET TRAPPED BY A MID-LEVEL SUBTROPICAL RIDGE. GIVEN THE STRONG
SHEAR FORECAST AT THE END...THE NHC FORECAST LEANS TOWARD THE
FASTER TRACK SCENARIO AT THE END OF THE FORECAST PERIOD AND
IS CLOSE TO THE PREVIOUS FORECAST. HOWEVER...I DO NOT HAVE A LOT OF
CONFIDENCE IN THE LONG-TERM TRACK OR INTENSITY FORECASTS...AS THE
MODELS HAVE BEEN STURGGLING WITH CONSISTENCY WITH THIS STORM.


Reminds me of one of those "Choose your own Adventure" books.

Perfect analogy.
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11am Discussion on TD9

IT IS WORTH NOTING
THAT SOME OF THE GLOBAL MODELS...IN PARTICULAR THE GFS AND NOGAPS
DO NOT EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE CYCLONE EXISTS NOW OR IN THE NEAR
FUTURE. HOWEVER...A QUICK DECAY OF THIS SYSTEM DOES NOT APPEAR TO
BE LIKELY.

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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.