Earl a Category 4 storm again

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:23 PM GMT on September 01, 2010

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Hurricane Earl has regained Category 4 strength this afternoon, and continues on a steady northwest path towards the North Carolina coast. Recent satellite imagery shows that Earl has become more symmetrical, with improved upper-level outflow and no signs of dry air wrapping into the core. The improved appearance is probably due to lower wind shear. Latest wind shear tendency imagery from the University of Wisconsin CIMSS group shows that shear on the southwest side of Earl has fallen by about 10 knots over the past 24 hours.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Earl.

Forecast for Earl
The latest set of model runs from 8am EDT (12Z) this morning shows little change to Earl's track. Thus, my write-up of the possible impacts to North Carolina, New England, and Canada in this morning's post remain unchanged. The latest SHIPS model forecast shows wind shear will remain moderate, about 15 knots, through Friday afternoon. This should allow Earl to maintain major hurricane status as it passes North Carolina early Friday morning. By Friday night, as Earl gets caught in the jet stream and accelerates to the northeast, wind shear will rise to 20 - 30 knots and ocean temperatures will plunge to 20°C, resulting in considerable weakening. Earl will still probably be a Category 1 or 2 hurricane early Saturday morning, when it will make its closest approach to New England. Earl is more likely to be a strong tropical storm or weak Category 1 hurricane early Saturday afternoon, when it is expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Earl is a large hurricane, which gives it a higher potential for storm surge damage than a smaller hurricane with the same top winds. One measure of a storm's power, useful for gauging storm surge threat, is to measure the speed of the winds and multiply by the area over which those winds blow. This total is called the Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE). Based on the storm's IKE, one can come up with a scale from 0 - 6 rating the storm's destructive power from its storm surge. A separate rating can be given to the destructive potential of the storm's winds. The IKE value of 112 Terrajoules for Earl, at 3:30pm EDT today, gives its storm surge a destructive power of 5.0 on a scale of 0 - 6. Earl's winds have a lower destructive power, 3.4 on a scale of 0 - 6. Let's hope the right front quadrant of Earl, where the main storm surge would occur, stays offshore! For comparison, the small Category 5 Hurricane Camille of 1969 had an IKE of 80 Terrajoules, and the very large Category 2 Hurricane Ike of 2008 had an IKE of 116 Terrajoules--similar to Category 3 Earl's.

Fiona
Tropical Storm Fiona is struggling due to high wind shear, courtesy of strong upper-level northerly winds from Hurricane Earl's outflow. The latest Hurricane Hunter center fix at 1:29pm EDT found Fiona had weakened some, with a central pressure of 999 mb. This is a rise of 1 mb from this morning. The wind shear analysis from the University of Wisconsin CIMSS group shows that shear has increased to a moderately high 15 - 20 knots this afternoon. Satellite loops show the classic signature of a tropical storm experiencing high wind shear--an exposed center of circulation, and all the heavy thunderstorms pushed to one side (the south side in this case). Martinique radar shows that the outer bands from Fiona are bringing heavy rain squalls to the same islands of the northern Lesser Antilles that were affected by Earl. Our wundermap for the northern Lesser Antilles shows no stations recorded winds over 20 mph this afternoon, though there was no reporting station on Barbuda, the island closest to Fiona.

Forecast for Fiona
Moderate wind shear and dry air should keep Fiona from attaining hurricane status over the next two days, as big brother Earl continues to bring high wind shear. The shear may be strong enough to destroy Fiona, as predicted by the NHC. However, by this weekend, Earl may pull far enough away for shear to drop and Fiona to survive. The 4 - 5 day track forecast is highly uncertain, as there is a large spread in the model solutions. It is possible Fiona may pose a threat to Bermuda on Saturday or Sunday, and the storm could wander for a week or more in the waters between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast.


Figure 2. Afternoon satellite image of Fiona.

Tropical Storm Gaston forms
Tropical Storm Gaston developed enough heavy thunderstorms near its center this afternoon to get a name, and appears destined to become Hurricane Gaston by early next week. Water vapor satellite images show a large area of dry air to the north and west of Gaston, and this dry air will be the dominant inhibiting factor for development. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts shear will remain moderate, 10 - 15 knots, for the next four days, and perhaps fall to the low range 4 - 5 days from now. Gaston is over warm 28°C waters, and should be able to steadily intensify into a hurricane by Saturday or Sunday, as predicted by the many of the intensity models. Gaston may threaten the northern Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Tuesday.

Next post
I'll have an update in the morning, and Dr. Rob Carver will have a late night update tonight.

Jeff Masters

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ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 932 MB
EYE DIAMETER 25 NM
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 120 KT WITH GUSTS TO 145 KT.
64 KT....... 80NE 70SE 40SW 60NW.
50 KT.......120NE 120SE 90SW 100NW.
34 KT.......200NE 180SE 120SW 180NW.
12 FT SEAS..450NE 270SE 210SW 330NW.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL
MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.

REPEAT...CENTER LOCATED NEAR 27.8N 73.8W AT 02/0300Z
AT 02/0000Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 27.1N 73.4W
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Quoting FLdewey:
You guys be careful direct linking to OZ... I speak from experience it will earn a ban.


Yeah its true, was here the day he got banned for spamming... a lesson to us all.
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Earl moving fast. Fiona moving fast and out. And

Gaston slowing down.

I'm not so sure this is a good set up for down the road.
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HURRICANE CENTER LOCATED NEAR 27.8N 73.8W AT 02/0300Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 15 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST OR 330 DEGREES AT 16 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 932 MB
EYE DIAMETER 25 NM
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 120 KT WITH GUSTS TO 145 KT.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
http://www.bolivarchamber.org/News/tabid/86/ctl/ArticleView/mid/848/articleId/188/Default.aspx

these pics are from the Bolivar chamber of commerce
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where the hell is the update for earl
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For those people living from Florida to Texas, we need to keep an eye on Gaston. It looks to be heading for the boiling couldran known as the Caribbean.
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Quoting dan77539:


Our 240-hr forecasts aren't that good.
Link?
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Quoting DestinJeff:
have you missed me?


With every shot.
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2044. hydrus
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21200
Quoting ladykat:
When I was driving through Emerald Isle at 7pm-the announcer on the radio was saying-"if you all are from here you know, you might be confined to your home for up to 12 hours, but it is going to be gone and beautiful by noon on Friday or earlier-so don't change your weekend plans!"
I was telling my family in Wilmington how criminal this attitude was at 10pm-when I go the evac notice...folks here have no respect for this monster...hope we have best case scenario-but if it is worst case....going to be pure negligence on the media and public officials...mand. evac 12 hrs before a cat 4/5 approaches-what are people thinking.
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Quoting hydrus:
Good Evening Jeff...


Just like taxes...(sigh)
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Bob: Hey, Sue why didn't we evacuate, again?
Sue: Would you pass me a 2x4 to float on.
Bob: Answer my question.
Sue: Because I thought some anonymous people on the internet would know best and they said to stay.

-flip side-

Bob: Sue, why are we evacuating when Earl pulled his turn, winds at home were light, and surge didn't happen?
Sue: Would you pass me the pee bottle?
Bob: Answer my question, after all we are only half way there and have been in this traffic for 72 hours.
Sue: Because I thought some anonymous people on the internet would know best and they said to leave now.


LOL, but id rather be stuck in traffic rather than in all but one house I inspected that was submerged in Bay St Louis. It was a 2 story on 16 foot stilts, high water mark in the 2nd floor (3 stories).
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Quoting RufusBaker:
Will Gaston make it to the gulf???


Our 240-hr forecasts aren't that good.
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2038. xcool
TROPICAL STORM GASTON ADVISORY NUMBER 3
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092010
1100 PM AST WED SEP 01 2010

...GASTON BEGINS TO SLOW DOWN OVER THE OPEN ATLANTIC...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...13.4N 37.7W
ABOUT 935 MI...1500 KM W OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
ABOUT 1585 MI...2550 KM E OF THE LESSER ANTILLES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 280 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1005 MB...29.68 INCHES
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Puerto Rico Tropical Forecast
Hurricane Gaston could affect us in eastern Puerto Rico next week


Blog Update


Link
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CycloneOz live feed!

He is on one of the outter bank islands, near buxton

Link
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2035. o22sail
Quoting sammywammybamy:
CycloneOZ Live

http://thextremeweather.com/xtreme-weather-cam.html

TNX! 73,
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Schools have announced early closings for tomorrow here in eastern NC(non island counties)
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2033. leo305
Quoting MrstormX:


This is up for debate... but if it didn't peak already it will within an hour.


I wouldn't say that.. but anything could happen
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2030. MZT
Oz on 12 south, driving past Hatters seashore...
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2029. Levi32
The dry air getting entrained into Earl is more than likely to prevent Cat 5. It's the same situation as Danielle which capped her at a Cat 4 without a perfect core, and Earl is the same way right now. He still has the look of a hurricane being affected by dry air, and thus not perfect, which is essentially the definition of Category 5.
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2028. hydrus
Quoting DestinJeff:
have you missed me?
Good Evening Jeff...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21200
try this picLink
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Will Gaston make it to the gulf???
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Quoting leo305:
The hurricane has peaked? Look at the eye.. its getting clearer.. that's an indication that it's still strengthening, the eye wall is fluctuating in intensity


This is up for debate... but if it didn't peak already it will within an hour.
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Strange that cloud tops are so cold in SW quad.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
have you missed me?


Some one said something about a chart...DOH!!
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2022. ladykat
When I was driving through Emerald Isle at 7pm-the announcer on the radio was saying-"if you all are from here you know, you might be confined to your home for up to 12 hours, but it is going to be gone and beautiful by noon on Friday or earlier-so don't change your weekend plans!"
I was telling my family in Wilmington how criminal this attitude was at 10pm-when I go the evac notice...folks here have no respect for this monster...hope we have best case scenario-but if it is worst case....going to be pure negligence on the media and public officials...mand. evac 12 hrs before a cat 4/5 approaches-what are people thinking.
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better make that Lee or maybe Albany
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2019. acarty
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


Interesting you pick now to pipe up!


I just am wondering what THAT means?????
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.
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2017. leo305
The hurricane has peaked? Look at the eye.. its getting clearer.. that's an indication that it's still strengthening, the eye wall is fluctuating in intensity
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Got to tell you Earl has a very symmetrical good looking eye. I think it's still Cat 4. It's about passing my latitude. I know that the chance of it making hard left and hitting Florida are minuscule, but still I feel better when a hurricane as powerful as this passes my latitude going AWAY at a good clip.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
have you missed me?


Were you gone ??. Just kidding LOL
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2013. Melagoo
Did the HH find the pressure dropped to 929mb?
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2011. xcool
nnw 18mph
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2009. hydrus
Quoting oracle28:


But there is a difference between the surge of a storm that WAS a Cat 5 and one that was never above Cat 3. That's a key variable that can't be understated.

If Earl went to Cat 1 tomorrow, it would still produce a surge greater than the typical Cat 1.
Absolutely...Check out the deep red color that completely encompasses the eyewall, right next to the calm part of the eye...interesting.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21200
Quoting weatherdogg:
"I have friends in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, a mile from the ocean and a mile from the bay. They haven't worked out yet how to install their storm shutters. They are both in their 60s. What advice would you be giving them tomorrow morning, given there is just one road on the Cape to the mainland?"

Take a road trip - you don't want to be on the Cape, even in a Cat. 1.
That sagamore bridge is probably backed up now
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting capesanblas:





Listen to Yoda Kman


There is a great distruption in the force.

We will only be saved if Darth Weather renouces the dark side.



posted in jest - K-man is this blogs weather dude, - when he post - read and heed....


LOL. I hope the force is with all of us this season !
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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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