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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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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1172. DEKRE
Quoting KanKunKid:


Gaston without Alphonse -


Are you old enough to remember that?
:)
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Quoting hydrus:
Earl is strengthening...



Agreed!
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1170. Engine2
NAM 18 hr - interesting
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Looks like Kermit is going Home... and a new HH is approaching from the South. The PORT/STBD answer will have to wait.







How can you tell by The HH if it's going to be left or right of track?
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Quoting Engine2:
12z NAM @ 18


that looks like it would stay farther out good
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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 :)
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1166. hydrus
Earl is strengthening...
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1164. Engine2
12z NAM @ 18
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T.D. 9

invest_al092010.invest

AL, 09, 2010090112, , BEST, 0, 123N, 352W, 30, 1006, TD, 34, NEQ,
Link
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any chance TS force winds will reach as far as NYC?
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To answer a few peoples question. The next name up is Gaston
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1160. Engine2
Quoting Gearsts:
LINK?

http://raleighwx.easternuswx.com/models/12znam.html
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1159. Gearsts
Quoting Engine2:
12z NAM @ 12
LINK?
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Try in Earl loop at NHC of Earl good luck because one minute they load the next they don'tLink

Tried, link is still not working. This one did work
Link
BTW: Does look like it took a bit of a jog to the west
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Looks like Kermit is going Home... and a new HH is approaching from the South. The PORT/STBD answer will have to wait.





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1156. Engine2
12z NAM @ 12
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Quoting Alockwr21:


Which river?


Rappahannock

Just for reference, Isabel took 15ft of our property.
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1153. Melagoo
Any one with a metal detector should drive up or down the east coast ... I'm sure Earl will expose some lost treasures!
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1151. Gearsts
Quoting raggpr:
So Fiona and Earl had a romantic encounter yesterday night and it seems that Earl didn't like Fiona's performance. So Fiona is so sad she will try to suicide herself north in the atlantic. Now we have a baby on our way called Gaston waiting for a Hermione to appear. jajaja. But seriously does anyone thinks that 98L could make it to the carribean?, i see a big split in early models.
or to FL but no recurve
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Quoting lennykat4:
I want to say thanks to all of you right now for teaching me lots and keeping me informed.

I just got off the phone with my very freaked out mom (who is in the Delmarva pen) who can't get on her computer.

I was able to give her lots of official information and relayed many of your hunches to her. She has decided to leave shortly with tears in her eyes.

Praying that our 100 year old River home makes it through..praying.

Thanks again to all of you-- I'll keep lurking and hoping.


Which river?
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Fiona has all the chances of going further west...I dont see a fade out yet in the ATL.
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Cold front is forecast to cross the great lakes on Friday AM, winds out in front are what's going to pick up Earl. Forward speed of Earl and trof and any western motion of Earl is now critical to the OBX. Anyone else not so encouraged by the angle of the trof over the states?
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1146. raggpr
So Fiona and Earl had a romantic encounter yesterday night and it seems that Earl didn't like Fiona's performance. So Fiona is so sad she will try to suicide herself north in the atlantic. Now we have a baby on our way called Gaston waiting for a Hermione to appear. jajaja. But seriously does anyone thinks that 98L could make it to the carribean?, i see a big split in early models.
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Quoting moonlightcowboy:
I hope these fellas are right.



SHORT RANGE FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
435 AM EDT WED SEP 01 2010

VALID 12Z WED SEP 01 2010 - 12Z FRI SEP 03 2010

A COLD FRONT CURRENTLY STRETCHED ACROSS THE UPPER MIDWEST WILL
MOVE THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES REGION ON WEDNESDAY...TOUCHING OFF
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FROM MICHIGAN DOWN TO THE SOUTHERN
PLAINS. FURTHER WEST...AN UPPER TROUGH WILL BEGIN TO DIG INTO THE
NORTHERN PLAINS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. ADDITIONAL SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP AHEAD OF THIS FEATURE IN THE DAKOTAS.
SOME OF THESE STORMS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE SEVERE. IN
ADDITION...A WEAKENING FRONT WILL BRING SHOWERS TO THE PACIFIC
NORTHWEST ON WEDNESDAY.

THE AFOREMENTIONED UPPER TROUGH OVER THE PLAINS WILL CONTINUE TO
AMPLIFY AS IT MOVES EASTWARD ON THURSDAY...HELPING TO PUSH A COLD
FRONT SOUTH THROUGH THE PLAINS. EXPECT HIGH TEMPERATURES THURSDAY
TO BE AROUND 10 DEGREES COLDER THAN ON WEDNESDAY ACROSS MUCH OF
THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PLAINS. THE THREAT OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS WILL REMAIN ACROSS THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PLAINS
WEDNESDAY NIGHT...BEFORE SHIFTING TO THE MIDWEST ON THURSDAY.

HURRICANE EARL IS FORECAST TO APPROACH THE EAST COAST BUT WILL
REMAIN OFFSHORE WITHOUT MAKING A DIRECT LANDFALL. MUCH OF THE EAST
COAST WILL NOT BE SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED BY THIS STORM...WITH THE
GREATEST THREAT FOR WIND AND RAIN LIMITED TO THE NORTH CAROLINA
AND VIRGINIA COASTS LATE THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY. FOR THE MOST UP TO
DATE INFORMATION ON EARL...CHECK THE LATEST STATEMENT FROM THE
NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV.


SOLTOW


Im thinking based on current conditions that the western eye wall grazes the OB, NC area...its possible though that the storm does make a landfall further north
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


He's got some stable air out in front and a lackluster shear forecast, but this morning 98L's getting along pretty nicely.
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1143. raggpr
So Fiona and Earl had a romantic encounter yesterday night and it seems that Earl didn't like Fiona's performance. So Fiona is so sad she will try to suicide herself north in the atlantic. Now we have a baby on our way called Gaston waiting for a Hermione to appear. jajaja. But seriously does anyone thinks that 98L could make it to the carribean?, i see a big split in early models.
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#1128: My point earlier, NOLALawyer.
This is Labor Day Weekend.
Lots of reservations/plans already made for going to the beach.
Why does 'movie script' pop into mind?
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Alockwr21 Try any Earl loop at NHC good luck because one minute they load the next they don'tLink
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1140. Engine2
12z NAM has started
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Quoting xCat6Hurricane:


you sound like a wishcaster, i'm in north carolina and all i'm expecting is tropical storm force winds, and when that's all we get, i am going to laugh at you.


People, there is no need to be rude or condescending on here. There are ALOT of people who are new to this blog that have important questions and legitimate concerns. Please have some sense
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Quoting KanKunKid:


Yes. I don't believe it is a social call for tea and crumpets. After a brief stroll through the Caribbean, 98L (by then may be Gaston without Alphonse - if you know your literature) may be quite the Juggernaut. As you know, 3rd world countries do not usually prepare well or organize well and spend money to make sure certain disasters do not reoccur.
Analogy: Big pot hole in road. Don't fix, put up a sign: Caution big hole.
I'm ready to hitch up the 5th wheel and head away from the coast. You?

Here it's a little different the ODPEM prepares well for the hurricanes. Since June they have been promoting putting hurricane straps on your roofs, but the problem is that people always think that it will never happen againg so they don't prepare and when the hurricane comes and the officals say evacuate and head for the shelters only about 10-20 people do so and then they complain after their whole house is destroyed.
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I want to say thanks to all of you right now for teaching me lots and keeping me informed.

I just got off the phone with my very freaked out mom (who is in the Delmarva pen) who can't get on her computer.

I was able to give her lots of official information and relayed many of your hunches to her. She has decided to leave shortly with tears in her eyes.

Praying that our 100 year old River home makes it through..praying.

Thanks again to all of you-- I'll keep lurking and hoping.

Oh and now that I see 47ft wave height-- what happens when that much water is pushed into the Chesapeake Bay? Thanks again.
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Quoting medicroc:

I would take it that your list of essential employees is
Get out that list of essential personnel without whom critical business operations cannot be performed; give the receptionist, window washers and interoffice mail delivers the day off. And from personal experience I can tell you a few of your employees may refuse to evacuate their homes until they see the water creeping through their walls. And if all other options fail,guess on whose doorstep they may end up on?


+1 Continuity of Operations is essential.

Here's our Economic Development's website that deals with COOP planning...

http://www.pced.org/demographics_data/subpage.asp?coop#hurricane
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1132. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Hello, Bobby =)

stay safe.
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Sometimes I just don't understand people. I update my FB with information on the tropics. Mostly for fun, but I have alot of friends in the Mid-Atlantic and NE who have been very interested in my updates. This is what a H.S. friend posted this morning. She lives in DC and I assume is going down to Ocean City, MD:

"thanks for the updates. i love them!! I am actually heading to the beach tomorrow nite. I hope to just beat Earl there. I think it will be cool to be there for a big storm. Our place is right on the ocean in a concrete building. I can't wait to watch the ocean!"

I really hope she doesn't get to see more than she bargained for.
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In the current WV image, it appears that Earl is starting to ingest a bit of dry air.



Does it look as if this will knock down the intensity a bit as the storm approaches the coast?
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Quoting cheetaking:
Latest N-17 satellite pass showing a very well-defined closed eyewall. I expect some re-intensification today.


And that isn't even the newest one! This one below is only two hours old and shows continued organization.

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I hope these fellas are right.



SHORT RANGE FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
435 AM EDT WED SEP 01 2010

VALID 12Z WED SEP 01 2010 - 12Z FRI SEP 03 2010

A COLD FRONT CURRENTLY STRETCHED ACROSS THE UPPER MIDWEST WILL
MOVE THROUGH THE GREAT LAKES REGION ON WEDNESDAY...TOUCHING OFF
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FROM MICHIGAN DOWN TO THE SOUTHERN
PLAINS. FURTHER WEST...AN UPPER TROUGH WILL BEGIN TO DIG INTO THE
NORTHERN PLAINS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. ADDITIONAL SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP AHEAD OF THIS FEATURE IN THE DAKOTAS.
SOME OF THESE STORMS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE SEVERE. IN
ADDITION...A WEAKENING FRONT WILL BRING SHOWERS TO THE PACIFIC
NORTHWEST ON WEDNESDAY.

THE AFOREMENTIONED UPPER TROUGH OVER THE PLAINS WILL CONTINUE TO
AMPLIFY AS IT MOVES EASTWARD ON THURSDAY...HELPING TO PUSH A COLD
FRONT SOUTH THROUGH THE PLAINS. EXPECT HIGH TEMPERATURES THURSDAY
TO BE AROUND 10 DEGREES COLDER THAN ON WEDNESDAY ACROSS MUCH OF
THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PLAINS. THE THREAT OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS WILL REMAIN ACROSS THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL PLAINS
WEDNESDAY NIGHT...BEFORE SHIFTING TO THE MIDWEST ON THURSDAY.

HURRICANE EARL IS FORECAST TO APPROACH THE EAST COAST BUT WILL
REMAIN OFFSHORE WITHOUT MAKING A DIRECT LANDFALL. MUCH OF THE EAST
COAST WILL NOT BE SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED BY THIS STORM...WITH THE
GREATEST THREAT FOR WIND AND RAIN LIMITED TO THE NORTH CAROLINA
AND VIRGINIA COASTS LATE THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY. FOR THE MOST UP TO
DATE INFORMATION ON EARL...CHECK THE LATEST STATEMENT FROM THE
NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV.


SOLTOW
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Quoting Alockwr21:


He's been port of track all week it seems ...


STBD would be a pleasant change... for everyone.
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Good morning to all from a sunny Puerto Rico. I hope everyone is well and if you are in the possible path of Earl, you are doing everything needed to stay safe.

It is back to normal here, HOT, power is back on, and the sun is out in full force.
I just got to my apartment in San Juan and was surprised to see how the forest behind it was pretty beat up by Earl. I passed the storm in Eastern Puerto Rico, where it was supposed to be pretty bad and wasnt after all, so I was in shock to see how much worse it was in San Juan.

On TD 09... I guess its safe to say that none of the models out now are worth anything, right? I mean, they didnt call for it to develop at all and it has, so until the correct info is put in and they actually see it forming, the cone the NHC will put out is the only thing to look at.

What is you guy's handle on this new storm?
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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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