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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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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1322. breald
Quoting hurricanejunky:


7 hours...The hotel has a 2nd story balcony.

Quote from yesterday:
Across the street are two gas stations and all kinds of wood-framed homes with
pitched roofs!
Telephone poles with "major transformers" at the intersection...
And the beach is only 200 yards away!
Front desk lady said "NO EVACUATIONS"...and even if orders given, no one is going to
leave!


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.
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1321. Engine2
NAM 72
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Anyone think that if Earl is still going NW and passes 75W an outter bank strike is likely?
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recon about to enter Earl again from the SE... maybe we will see strengthening now and the eye closed???
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1318. Walnut
Quoting Jeff9641:
Quoting Walnut Post# 1288:

What is that convection under the Dominican?


FLdewey's dad now this is priceless!

Ha!
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


7 hours...The hotel has a 2nd story balcony.

Quote from yesterday:
Across the street are two gas stations and all kinds of wood-framed homes with
pitched roofs!
Telephone poles with "major transformers" at the intersection...
And the beach is only 200 yards away!
Front desk lady said "NO EVACUATIONS"...and even if orders given, no one is going to
leave!


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.
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1316. Engine2
NAM @ 66
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1315. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
07L/08L/09L
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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.
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Quoting LongIslandXpress38:


You should worry more about intoxicated frat. boys then Hurricane Earl!
Now that's a fact!
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1312. unf97
Looks like Fiona's center is partially exposed on visible satelitte imagery just northeast of the islands. It appears north-northwest wind shear from Earl is definitely still impacting the system currently.
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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.
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Finally...
At this late hour,
We here on Providenciales are getting our first
tropical "rain band" from Earl:

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1308. Melagoo


Wondering what a Cat 2 or higher Hurricane does to Bay of Fundy tides especially when they have it aimed straight up the entire bay ... FLOODING may occur
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Quoting breald:


It is going to take him forever to get to the outer banks. He should have flown into Raleigh/Durham. But I a sure it was cheaper to fly into Charlotte.


7 hours...

Quote from yesterday:
The hotel has a 2nd story balcony.
Across the street are two gas stations and all kinds of wood-framed homes with
pitched roofs!
Telephone poles with "major transformers" at the intersection...
And the beach is only 200 yards away!
Front desk lady said "NO EVACUATIONS"...and even if orders given, no one is going to
leave!

We'll see how it goes...
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Hokey dokey folks, Navy is feeling safe here in Norfolk. They must really like the NAM, LOL.
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Updated



AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI


TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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1304. ncstorm
I just watched Bill Reed from the NHC when he was on the Today Show this morning and he said that any SMALL (an Im emphasizing the word small) deviation to the west would put all of eastern NC coast feeling hurricane force winds..so these wobbles that Earl makes are not good at all. So do I feel confident in the NHC track, not at all especially if they arent confident in it on national tv.
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Quoting LongIslandXpress38:


You should worry more about intoxicated frat. boys then Hurricane Earl!


LOL....I called her this morning before class to make sure she was alright.....She was bright and lucid at 8:00 AM so looking good so far..... :)
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1301. hydrus
Quoting snotly:
Could the dry air wrap around Earl and turn him annular?
Annular or not, NOGAPS has the OBX taking a hit...Not that I Believe it, but its there...Link
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1297. markot
what is wrong with nhc sattelite pics.
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1296. Engine2
NAM @ 60
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1295. snowboy
Earl heading steadily northwest, at a good clip..
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Quoting Bonedog:


US Army Corps Engineer Flight Survey after Ophelia



So everything in gray shaded area got wet?
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Quoting gwhite713:
Anyone got a link of Earl's satalite with the latitudes and longitude's on it? thanks


Link

NOAA Visible loop.

Looks like Earl is slightly east of his forcast positions, and looks to be taking a slight jog to his north for a short while rather than west like he has been the past few days.
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looking at the early models runs it appears that TD/Gaston is od on a west track which cluld threaten the central lesser antilles and go on to be a caribbean threat. conditions look very conducive and we may have a strong hurricane to deal with early next week
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WU still has the new storm listed as Invest 98. And Fiona looks pathetic lol.
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1289. Bonedog
Thunder only way NYC goes under a watch would be if they are placed inside the cone between now and 11pm.

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1288. Walnut
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
ma ma ma Fiona not looking too good at this hour:


What is that convection under the Dominican?
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1287. Gearsts
Quoting ackee:
anyone one think 98L will be TD#9 by 11am
Already is
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Quoting FLdewey:

In the great state of NC his chances of being arrested go up 10 fold.

I feel bad for the cop that has to inventory his vehicle.
He'll be lucky if he makes it out of South Cakalaki. One look at OZ in a rental and The Man is going to know "that boy ain't up to no good".
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1284. HCW
Earl Model runs from the NHC... Off to NC :)

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1283. breald
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


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 were a little too nice in your response.
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1282. kwgirl
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Could someone who understands maps better than I take a look at this and tell me what it is showing? I got on one of my web-surfs riffing off SLOSH and wound up on Google maps with what I think might be a simulation of a post hurricane arial survey of the outer banks but I'm having trouble interpreting it. Might help if its someone who knows the place better than I. I've only been there one time and it was a wile ago. Map
I zoomed out then in, it is the Outer Banks.
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Anyone got a link of Earl's satalite with the latitudes and longitude's on it? thanks
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1280. HCW
Fiona model runs from the NHC

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ma ma ma Fiona not looking too good at this hour:

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?
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1277. HCW
TD#9 model runs from the NHC

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does anyone think that NYC will be under at least a TS watch today??
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@wunderaddict 1270 A couple of counties on OBX are under mandatory evac for tourists.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gVWjsPEiqe1tEu2mhBIRaxxGi8owD9HV4G001
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Quoting NOLALawyer:
If Earl stays offshore, it will be not be too bad for the East Coast and there should not be a big tornado threat because the NE quadrabnt will remain well offshore.......But the beach erosion will be brutal and probably the biggest impact (might even wash up a few lobsters towards the beaches).


This tune of yours is getting old. Give it a rest.


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?
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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.