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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Projected storm path reminds me a lot of Hurricane Bob (1991)
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1222. breald
Quoting doggonehurricane:
Hey how come some posts are automatically hidden. I just joined, I didn't poof anyone yet


Go to the upper right side of the blog and make sure it says all comments. If not, click on the drop down and change it.
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1221. Vero1
Quoting KY50:
Question -- Has anyone started looking at surge into the bays starting at Outer Banks and thenmoving north with Earl??


Keep checking this site:

http://www.weather.gov/ghls/
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1219. unruly
Quoting doggonehurricane:
Hey how come some posts are automatically hidden. I just joined, I didn't poof anyone yet
click on "show all" in the upper right corner where it sayd filter
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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).
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Quoting KY50:
Question -- Has anyone started looking at surge into the bays starting at Outer Banks and thenmoving north with Earl??


Ditto- thanks.
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Inner core of Earl is protected from the dry air, and is strengthning on satellite. Another note is quit model watching, we know the storm has to curve N and E, but it could be over land when it does that people, better start watching satellite loops from here on out.
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1215. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2010 Storms
All Active Year


Atlantic
09L.NINE
08L.FIONA
07L.EARL

East Pacific
94E.INVEST

Central Pacific

West Pacific
93W.INVEST
09W.NAMTHEUN
08W.KOMPASU
07W.LIONROCK

Indian Ocean

Southern Hemisphere
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1214. hydrus
Quoting raggpr:


This is the first time I do this, but this is what i think future Gaston will do.
The CMC does that same track.
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


good to hear i will let her know she was going to the store to buy some break and a gallon of water so maybe i should call her and tell her not to waste her time

It would be wise for her to get the supplies anyway because nobody can tell you for sure where Earl will go.
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1210. KY50
Question -- Has anyone started looking at surge into the bays starting at Outer Banks and thenmoving north with Earl??
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Quoting Jeff9641:


She should be fine as Earl will stay offshore and landfall in Halifax.



Really? Good to know. Moving on. Nothing more to see or debate here haha
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Quoting Michfan:


Since Earl is reintensifying wobbles are going to be natural. Most intense hurricanes tend to stair step rather than go in what most would think as a perfect curve or line to its destination. You want to look at at least 3 hours worth of loops to determine a change in direction. People that tend to stare at these 15 min frames over and over will get stir crazy trying to determine a storms true path.


Thanks Michfan - that's what I was assuming, but just wanted to make sure, as I haven't had the chance to listen to much news this morning & wanted to make sure things were still looking relatively clear for us here in Charleston. ;)
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1207. Engine2
NAM 30
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Quoting doggonehurricane:
Hey how come some posts are automatically hidden. I just joined, I didn't poof anyone yet


Probably due to low ratings from lots of (-)
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


good to hear i will let her know she was going to the store to buy some break and a gallon of water so maybe i should call her and tell her not to waste her time

Why? She can always drink the water and eat the bread
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1203. breald
Quoting EastCarolina:


HH hunters will locate the center and then Orca can align that with the NHC path.

Orca's visual of this has been very helpful.


Yes it has.
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1202. hydrus
Quoting FLdewey:
Ma ma ma my Fiona...

The CMC does not show Fiona, but does show a hurricane approaching the Lesser Antilles.Link
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Quoting SkulDouggery:
OMG! There's no reruns of storm stories on right now. Weather channel must have noticed there's a possible hurricane threat! LOL


Are they lieing about a huge westerly shift in the track again like yesterday?
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Inner core of Earl is protected from the dry air, and is strengthning on satellite. Another note is quit model watching, we know the storm has to curve N and E, but it could be over land when it does that people, better start watching satellite loops from here on out.
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1199. unf97
Good morning everyone!

For all those out there who were saying the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season was a boring one, well I certainly beg to differ with you now!

My goodness the tropics are perculating now. Earl is once again intensifying and I pray that this dangerous storm will stay off the coast enough to spare the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S. Coast its main fury. But, my goodness, the swells generated from Earl along the East Coast the next several days will be spectacular. Surfers are going to be really loving it for sure, but, pleae folks, if you are planning on getting out in the water along the U.S. East Coast the next several days be very careful as rip currents will really be dangerous for sure!

Fiona has definitely given most us a major surprise over the last 12 hours as it appears that this monster Earl did not absorb her. Now, it certainly appears that Fiona will survive on and now we all now really must watch her over the next several days very very carefully. Stay tuned folks!

98L is looking better and better with each hour and I am pretty sure that Gaston is definitely coming down the pike. This system has a huge circulation envelope and this is beginning to take on the look of being another classic Cape Verde tropical cyclone. This system looks to cruise generally westbound over the next several days on the southern edge of the subtropical edge building across the Atlantic. This system definitely could become a major problem down the road for the islands and possibly the CONUS.

Plus, the CV wave train continues as another wave behind 98L/future Gaston is already coming off the coast and there are a couple of other waves still on the continent which will be coming off the coast in the next few days.

So, folks, very busy times ahead of tracking all of this activity in the Atlantic basin. It's September 1, and right on cue, Mother Nature seems to have timed it pefectly to have the tropics perculate as we are exactly in the midst of the peak of the season.

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1198. myway
Quoting FloridaHeat:
my aunt lives in newport news virginia should she be concerned


She should monitor the situation and at least start to prepare by buying supplies such as food, medicine if applicable, water etc. These things can be used at a later date even if the storm does not impact her.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


She should be fine as Earl will stay offshore and landfall in Halifax.


good to hear i will let her know she was going to the store to buy some break and a gallon of water so maybe i should call her and tell her not to waste her time
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Quoting Michfan:


Since Earl is reintensifying wobbles are going to be natural. Most intense hurricanes tend to stair step rather than go in what most would think as a perfect curve or line to its destination. You want to look at at least 3 hours worth of loops to determine a change in direction. People that tend to stare at these 15 min frames over and over will get stir crazy trying to determine a storms true path.

I don't know for sure but I thought the XTRP was based on the 6 hour positions. The difference in time between the two model runs.
(when the models are run, XTRP is the straight line between the two actual center points of the storm continued forward)
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1195. raggpr


This is the first time I do this, but this is what i think future Gaston will do.
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Quoting Michfan:


Just tell her to stay informed.


she was not even aware until my mom just told her she hadnt watched the news or anything the last few days
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OMG! There's no reruns of storm stories on right now. Weather channel must have noticed there's a possible hurricane threat! LOL
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Hey how come some posts are automatically hidden. I just joined, I didn't poof anyone yet
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Question for StormW or anyone else who may wanna take a crack at it from a wx enthusiast. This trough that's coming to deflect Earl NNE, it also has some weather to it right, where even with no hurricane, they would have stormy conditions along its path? How do the two systems interact and what effect does that have on the ground for the people who live in the areas, especially if the hurricane stays offshore? Does it accentuate the effects on the left side of the storm? Wind/rain/etc? Thanks!
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1189. 7544
could earl stall right where he is now hmmm
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1188. Engine2
NAM 24
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1187. Michfan
Quoting FloridaHeat:
my aunt lives in newport news virginia should she be concerned


Just tell her to stay informed.
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1185. 7544
one hour for the new td cone will it go north too

earls jogging west again and getting stronger
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my aunt lives in newport news virginia should she be concerned
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1181. Melagoo


Looks like a stronger Earl
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Quoting Alockwr21:


How can you tell by The HH if it's going to be left or right of track?


HH hunters will locate the center and then Orca can align that with the NHC path.

Orca's visual of this has been very helpful.
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1179. Michfan
Quoting carolinabelle:
Interesting... the extrapolated path (XTRP, which I'm well aware isn't a real model) was pointing straight at Charleston, SC last night when I went to sleep & this morning it is pointing south of Savannah, GA... indicating a possible slight shift in direction to my very untrained eyes...

I'm curious, does that mean anything at all or is it just a normal wobble in Earl's track? Please no smart remarks... it's an honest question :)


Since Earl is reintensifying wobbles are going to be natural. Most intense hurricanes tend to stair step rather than go in what most would think as a perfect curve or line to its destination. You want to look at at least 3 hours worth of loops to determine a change in direction. People that tend to stare at these 15 min frames over and over will get stir crazy trying to determine a storms true path.
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Hurricane Earl's southwestern eyewall moved directly over Buoy #41046 overnight, causing the buoy to read 48.6-foot waves (before stopping reporting*) and wind gusts to 101 mph. Winds calmed considerably and the pressure dropped to 27.82" (942 mb) as the edge of the eye moved over the buoy briefly.

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=41046

WOW
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Hes wrapping in some dry air.

WV loop
Link

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Whats with the bamm models turning fiona west on the 12Z. Will we see a trend with the other models
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post 1167, excellent observation
I'd love to hear an expert opinion on this
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1173. Melagoo
2010

Alex
Bonnie
Colin
Danielle
Earl
Fiona
Gaston
Hermine
Igor
Julia
Karl
Lisa
Matthew
Nicole
Otto
Paula
Richard
Shary
Tomas
Virginie
Walter
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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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