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 PrivateIdaho:


In '86 Charley chased our ship (Saipan) all the way to Iceland!


Won't be chasing anyone this time. 3 dozen or so ships in port - no sortie...
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AT 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION NINE
WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 12.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 35.8 WEST. THE
DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 15 MPH...24 KM/HR. THE
CYCLONE SHOULD MOVE TOWARD THE WEST OR WEST-NORTHWEST AT A SLOWER
FORWARD SPEED DURING THE NEXT TWO DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH...55 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST AND IT IS LIKELY THAT THE
CYCLONE WILL BECOME A TROPICAL STORM DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB...29.71 INCHES.
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1369. Jax82
Fiona 11am
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IMO hurricanes that ride just off shore can do more damage than an inland center Noreaster. An off shore cyclone brings in more storm surge, pushing the water inland. An inland Noreaster where the center is onland might have winds but lacks this storm surge capabilities. Not to say 70 mile an hr winds wont rip up the pines and structures..
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interesting discussion on Fiona
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT3+shtml/011441.shtml
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1361. raggpr
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1359. Engine2
Discussion for my local area:

FRIDAY...WITH EARL AT ITS CLOSEST...LIKELY IMPACT FROM OUTER
TROPICAL RAIN BANDS...HIGHEST PROB ACROSS EASTERN LONG ISLAND AND
SE CONN. FOLLOWED NHC WIND FORECAST WITH TROPICAL STORM FORCE
WINDS ACROSS LONG ISLAND AND CT. TEMPS GENERALLY NEAR
SEASONABLE...BUT HIGHLY DEPENDENT ON TRACK AND ASSOCIATED RAIN
BANDS.
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1358. Jax82
TD09
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Tropical Depression NINE
...ANOTHER TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS IN THE EASTERN ATLANTIC..

lol
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1356. NEwxguy
Bone,I've given up telling people to ignore the trolls,I just put those who quote him on ignore too.
How are you by the way!!!
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1355. raggpr
they put TD 9 on NHC map but no forecast track
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1354. ackee
Do WE have TD#9 or still an invest 98L
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Quoting CoopsWife:
Hokey dokey folks, Navy is feeling safe here in Norfolk. They must really like the NAM, LOL.


In '86 Charley chased our ship (Saipan) all the way to Iceland!
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1352. Bonedog
sounds likely Engine
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1350. leo305
Quoting twhcracker:
on my weather bug alert it said 49 ft waves have been reported near the bahamas.


0-0

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1349. Engine2
NHC is forecasting Tropical Storm Force winds for Friday on LI - I assume we will see a Trop Storm watch tonight.
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Quoting EastCarolina:


He wont be able to get past Oregon Inlet. They are checking ID's on Highway 12 just before the Oregon Inlet bridge. Non Residents are being turned around.


Knew that would be the case...From NM to the OBX just to get turned around...Ouch...Or, Earl will stay far enough off shore to not be a problem and there won't be a whole lot to see. Either way...ouch.

Morning all
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16420
For educational purposes, you gotta love the tropics....

We will have a hurricane,a tropical storm, a tropical depression, and a tropical wave emerging out of Africa all in the Atlantic. Great way to teach anyone the stages of tropical development!

=)
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on my weather bug alert it said 49 ft waves have been reported near the bahamas.
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1344. unf97
Fiona still at 998 mb. Still a very strong tropicial storm.
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1342. twooks
Quoting leelee75k:
1100 AM AST WED SEP 01 2010

...FIONA PASSING NORTH OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS...


SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...18.8N 61.7W
ABOUT 100 MI...160 KM ENE OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
ABOUT 85 MI...135 KM N OF BARBUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 17 MPH...28 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...998 MB...29.47 INCHES


Does she want to grow up to be a hurricane like her mean brother?
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 92
Quoting NOLALawyer:
My commment is based on the NHC forecast track that has been pretty accurate right now and I have a Daughter going to school in the NE in Conn so I am monitoring the situation closely.....What "tune" are you referring to Counselor?


You have been constantly "Ikeing" this storm and downplaying it since it was named. That is the tune I am referring to.

I don't wish harm on anyone. However, there is a chance that this is not going to sit harmlessly off the coast as you have been stating ad infinitum. There is chance that many people could be caught off guard as a result of this storm.


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.
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1339. breald
Quoting LongIslandXpress38:


Earl is going to be no worse then a bad Nor'Easter for Nantucket, which folks are used to and don't need to evacuate for..


ok if you say so.
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1337. myway
Apocalyps

Seems like you are spending too much time @ the Spoonbill
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1336. Acorna
If Florida got half as many storms as the gloom-and-doom wishcasters predicted the state would be in a sorry condition indeed.

That being said it doesn't seem many people around Jacksonville NC are too worried about Earl. It's the hot topic now of course but no huge concern as of now.
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1334. ladykat
I am afraid I will have a new balcony on my condo at Pine Knoll Shores. I am headed to Wilmington-then to Morehead to secure things-will give updates tonight and Thursday am on conditions. If Earl hits us from the South-bye bye condo...we are basically in the ocean as is...
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1333. angiest
Quoting HCW:
TD#9 model runs from the NHC



If the "consensus" verifies, that is the latitude for a western Caribbean and Gulf threat, based on history. Whether or not something like that materializes, it is, of course, too early to say.
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1100 AM AST WED SEP 01 2010

...FIONA PASSING NORTH OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS...


SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...18.8N 61.7W
ABOUT 100 MI...160 KM ENE OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
ABOUT 85 MI...135 KM N OF BARBUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 17 MPH...28 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...998 MB...29.47 INCHES
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1331. dader
em>
Quoting apocalyps:
Like most experts expected Earl is still headed towards Florida.This does not look good.


This makes no sense.
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1330. raggpr
F5 i want to see the projected path for TD 9
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Quoting breald:


I can see that happening on Cape Cod and Islands as well. People just don't like to leave their homes. I had to evacuate while I was vacationing on Emerald Isle, NC for hurricane Felix. What a pain in the butt. The hurricane missed the coast and we got to go back the next day and finish our vacation.


Earl is going to be no worse then a bad Nor'Easter for Nantucket, which folks are used to and don't need to evacuate for..
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1328. aimetti
Quoting apocalyps:
Like most experts expected Earl is still headed towards Florida.This does not look good.


lol ~
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Classic Eye Passage
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1326. ackee
Quoting kmanislander:
They're coming fast and furious now. TD 9 with a pressure of 1006 @ 30 knots could become Gaston as early as later today IMO.

With a more zonal set up in the Atl this could be a very dangerous system for the Caribbean and the US down the road. With TCHP levels off the charts in the Caribbean anything coming into it will likely achieve Cat 5 status without much trouble.

While it is too early to say where this is going on how strong it will be the shift in the sub tropical ridge is a matter of great concern going forward.
agree its moving a lot slower than previous syatems too
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1324. raggpr
navy site already put TD 9 on their website
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1323. will40
Quoting EastCarolina:


He wont be able to get past Oregon Inlet. They are checking ID's on Highway 12 just before the Oregon Inlet bridge. Non Residents are being turned around.


exactly if he doesnt have a property pass he isnt gonna be let on imo
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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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