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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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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Quoting AllBoardedUp:
I bet if someone posted a before and after picture of Bolivar Peninsula after Ike hit then it might change their mind about staying.
Good evening neighbor and everyone on! Agreed! Heres one for them
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Quoting CaneWarning:


But this one isn't new to the blog and has made posts before... It could be a fake but I don't know.


People who stay in an extremely high risk area such as a barrier island need to be made to listen to all the 911 calls that were made during Katrina from people who regreted their decision (fatal as it turned out) to stay. It was heartbreaking to hear them say things like, "I just wanted to tell someone that me and my family are going to die...( screams in the background, then all you could hear was water rushing, buidings crashing)
Please, please, PLEASE!! If you can and should, DO IT!!!
Member Since: July 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 68
waiting on the 11pm advisory ....tick tock...
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"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.
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Ciao

96HR VT 06/0000Z...DISSIPATED
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15892
New Recon (mission 12) took of from St Croix, will take an hour or so to get on station.....

Last recon is heading back to Florida it looks like.......
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1998. amd
looking at the latest RAMSDIS imagery, it is likely that Earl is peaking now. Eye is starting to lose that perfect symmetry, and the sw part of the storm has some slow erosion, but still well away from the core of the storm.

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...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
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1996. ussual
FOr those that don't know "MOST" Police/Fire/EMS stop responding to calls once TS force winds are sustained. You can call 911 but no one will come till the winds drop and that could be a long time if you are in trouble.
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Dear Earl,

You are beautiful but you are stressing me out. It's time for you to move along now. Get your hat and tip on out of here. I don't have enough tewkillya to deal with my family and ALL their issues and pets. Thanks. Bye.
<3 Tink
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Quoting Tazmanian:




how many time do you need to keep posting that
Well, someone thinks we have been debating that.

We haven't, really. Like debating the spin direction in Earl....
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...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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1991. leo305
Quoting kmanislander:


Not so. Dean was a CAT 5 in the image I posted and well before the coast. Take a look



oh wow, I remember when they announced it was a CAT 5 in the 5 am advisory, I guess they updated it after they realized it was a CAT 5 before it was near the coast with more data support
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
I'd be very surprised if Earl hit Category 5.

Specially since it appears to have peaked.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15892
Quoting CloudGatherer:


The key point to make about those CIMSS numbers is that they're from the 01:45 UTC run - exactly an hour ago. Earl's satellite presentation has continued to improve since then. CIMSS is catching up to the remarkable transformation that Earl has undergone this evening. It's at least a 6.5 - they build lag into the model, to smooth variations - and probably somewhat higher, perhaps as much as a 7.

Which is not to say that those wind speeds are currently observable on the surface - there's a lag with rapidly intensifying storms, particularly large ones like Earl. But it does mean that, absent sharp weakening, we'll start to see these winds brought down to the surface overnight.
Agreed, in a large storm, winds can take 4-6 hours to catch up to a steep pressure fall.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
...FIONA MOVING QUICKLY NORTHWESTWARD...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...21.8N 64.1W
ABOUT 270 MI...430 KM NNE OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 320 DEGREES AT 23 MPH...37 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES
It's booking! 23mpg At that speed, a ridge could fill in behind Earl sooner than later, forcing Gaston further west. Very interesting changing weather pattern. Good luck to all in this ones path.
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Quoting acarty:


REALLY? I have been following this blog for years. And I do know is who (or whom, depending...lol). Been thru Charile, Florence, Jeannie, Wilma. How about you?


Interesting you pick now to pipe up!
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If you live in the coast of North Carolina, don't wait to be told what to do. This is a monster of a hurricane. Here in New Orleans we leave 2 days out from hurricane landfall if it is a Cat 2 or higher. You don't mess around and wait for the government to tell you what to do, unless you do not have the means to evacuate yourself. If you have the means to get out on your own, PLEASE DO SO. I've seen posts about the tornadoes during the hurricanes and that is right. I have lived through enough hurricanes here to know. The tornadoes are very scary and are like pop corn...popping up all over the place at one time. Why would anyone want to stay for that? Like I said before, just save yourself and your family the TRAUMA and leave!! It is the smart to do no matter how much of a pain in the a** it may be...just do it!
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Earl peaked at 1:45UTC time from satellite. Eye is not as circular now on last frame. Notice the SW edge getting chewed away, inner core is not gonna feel it though.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Hi there LOL

Gaston may well be the first true test for the Caribbean this year. Zonal flow from E to W, negative NAO and the MJO always swinging back to the Atl basin. Factor in very high SST and off the charts TCHP and you have a recipe for real problems. If Gaston makes it to 70 W and 17N expect a CAT 5





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....
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If Fiona is still 60mph, then Gaston must be a hurricane...No way Fiona is that strong.
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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.
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000
WTNT24 KNHC 020245
TCMAT4
TROPICAL STORM GASTON FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 3
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092010
0300 UTC THU SEP 02 2010

THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 13.4N 37.7W AT 02/0300Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 30 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST OR 280 DEGREES AT 10 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1005 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 35 KT WITH GUSTS TO 45 KT.
34 KT....... 0NE 0SE 0SW 60NW.
12 FT SEAS.. 60NE 60SE 0SW 0NW.
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 13.4N 37.7W AT 02/0300Z
AT 02/0000Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 13.4N 37.4W

FORECAST VALID 02/1200Z 13.5N 38.5W
MAX WIND 40 KT...GUSTS 50 KT.
34 KT... 60NE 0SE 0SW 60NW.

FORECAST VALID 03/0000Z 13.7N 39.7W
MAX WIND 45 KT...GUSTS 55 KT.
34 KT... 75NE 45SE 30SW 60NW.

FORECAST VALID 03/1200Z 13.8N 40.8W
MAX WIND 50 KT...GUSTS 60 KT.
50 KT... 30NE 0SE 0SW 30NW.
34 KT... 75NE 60SE 45SW 75NW.

FORECAST VALID 04/0000Z 14.0N 42.1W
MAX WIND 55 KT...GUSTS 65 KT.
50 KT... 30NE 0SE 0SW 30NW.
34 KT... 75NE 60SE 45SW 75NW.

FORECAST VALID 05/0000Z 14.5N 45.5W
MAX WIND 65 KT...GUSTS 80 KT.
50 KT... 45NE 30SE 30SW 45NW.
34 KT... 90NE 60SE 60SW 90NW.

EXTENDED OUTLOOK. NOTE...ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 200 NM
ON DAY 4 AND 250 NM ON DAY 5...AND FOR INTENSITY NEAR 20 KT EACH DAY

OUTLOOK VALID 06/0000Z 15.0N 49.5W
MAX WIND 75 KT...GUSTS 90 KT.

OUTLOOK VALID 07/0000Z 16.0N 54.5W
MAX WIND 85 KT...GUSTS 105 KT.

REQUEST FOR 3 HOURLY SHIP REPORTS WITHIN 300 MILES OF 13.4N 37.7W

NEXT ADVISORY AT 02/0900Z

$$
FORECASTER BERG


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Quoting hydrus:
True.It was pretty close to land when it was at 5 though.


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.
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It's alive! Mwhahahaha!

TROPICAL STORM FIONA DISCUSSION NUMBER 10
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082010
1100 PM AST WED SEP 01 2010

DESPITE THE POOR SATELLITE PRESENTATION...RECONNAISSANCE DATA SINCE
THE LAST ADVISORY INDICATE THAT THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE CHANGE TO THE
INTENSITY OF FIONA. THE AIRCRAFT FOUND PEAK 850 MB FLIGHT-LEVEL
WINDS OF 58 KT AND SFMR WINDS TO 53 KT TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE
CENTER. THE AIRCRAFT DATA AND OBSERVATIONS FROM NOAA BUOY 41043
THIS EVENING SUGGEST THAT THE CIRCULATION OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN
QUADRANT HAS BECOME LESS DEFINED...AND A RECENT SSMIS IMAGE
DEPICTED A CIRCULATION THAT APPEARED ELONGATED FROM SOUTHEAST TO
NORTHWEST. THE ENVIRONMENT AHEAD OF FIONA APPEARS QUITE
HOSTILE...WITH STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS SHOWN BY THE GLOBAL MODELS.
THE NHC FORECAST INDICATES GRADUAL WEAKENING AND IS AT THE LOWER
END OF THE GUIDANCE. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE CIRCULATION WILL
DEGENERATE INTO AN OPEN TROUGH IN THE STRONG SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST
LOW-LEVEL FLOW ON THE EAST SIDE OF HURRICANE EARL. THIS SOLUTION IS
SUPPORTED BY MOST OF THE GLOBAL MODELS AND DISSIPATION OF FIONA
COULD OCCUR EARLIER THAN SHOWN BELOW.

FIXES FROM THE AIRCRAFT SHOW THAT FIONA ACCELERATED THIS
AFTERNOON...WITH AN ESTIMATED MOTION OF 320/20 KT. THE CYCLONE
IS FORECAST TO MOVE AROUND THE WESTERN PORTION OF THE SUBTROPICAL
RIDGE DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THEREAFTER...FIONA IS FORECAST
TO TURN NORTHWARD...THEN NORTHEASTWARD IN DEEP-LAYER SOUTHWESTERLY
FLOW BETWEEN THE RIDGE AND EARL TO THE NORTHWEST. THE NEW TRACK
FORECAST IS FASTER THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY AND IS A BLEND OF
THE GFS...ECMWF...NOGAPS...AND UKMET MODELS.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 02/0300Z 21.8N 64.1W 50 KT
12HR VT 02/1200Z 23.8N 65.7W 45 KT
24HR VT 03/0000Z 26.2N 67.1W 45 KT
36HR VT 03/1200Z 28.8N 67.4W 40 KT
48HR VT 04/0000Z 31.5N 66.3W 40 KT
72HR VT 05/0000Z 35.5N 63.5W 35 KT
96HR VT 06/0000Z...DISSIPATED
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Not gonna be a cat 5, not definitive enough proof for nhc...
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1976. mnborn
Quoting 900MB:


Ummm...that is one of the best looking eyes I have seen at that latitude!

its a perfect donut now! Beauty & the Beast...
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Quoting spathy:

Come to think of it VBGirl.
I have been stuck in hours worth of traffic just trying to get to Virginia Beach.
I cant imagine an evacuation.
I was thinking the same thing.. there is really only one road in/out of OBX. that will soon be known as the gridlock from hell. Save yourself some sanity and get out sooner than later. evacuation is a no-brainer on this one.
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Category Four Hurricane (Sustained winds 131-155 mph, 114-135 kt, or 210-249 km/hr).
Catastrophic damage will occur
There is a very high risk of injury or death to people, livestock, and pets due to flying and falling debris. Nearly all older (pre-1994) mobile homes will be destroyed. A high percentage of newer mobile homes also will be destroyed. Poorly constructed homes can sustain complete collapse of all walls as well as the loss of the roof structure. Well-built homes also can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Extensive damage to roof coverings, windows, and doors will occur. Large amounts of windborne debris will be lofted into the air. Windborne debris damage will break most unprotected windows and penetrate some protected windows. There will be a high percentage of structural damage to the top floors of apartment buildings. Steel frames in older industrial buildings can collapse. There will be a high percentage of collapse to older unreinforced masonry buildings. Most windows will be blown out of high-rise buildings resulting in falling glass, which will pose a threat for days to weeks after the storm. Nearly all commercial signage, fences, and canopies will be destroyed. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Long-term water shortages will increase human suffering. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
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Quoting leo305:


Dean was a strong CAT 4 there =P

it became a CAT 5 right at the coast


Not so. Dean was a CAT 5 in the image I posted and well before the coast. Take a look

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1972. acarty
Quoting PcolaDan:


You really expect everyone to give their credentials because you are new and don't know who is who? Go to the NHC site, listen to your local people. This is a blog, not your personal hurricane center.


REALLY? I have been following this blog for years. And I do know is who (or whom, depending...lol). Been thru Charile, Florence, Jeannie, Wilma. How about you?
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.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15892
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Convection in the NW quad is starting to warm.

Looks like 120 knots may be its peak.



Lost some symmetry also.
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TropicalAnalystwx1, Earl is not a Super Saiyin yet
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1968. hydrus
Quoting stormy2008:
You'd be surprised at how many folks aren't taking this storm seriously.
Until its to late.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21249
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
6.3 / 939.2mb/122.2kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
6.3 6.5 6.5


The key point to make about those CIMSS numbers is that they're from the 01:45 UTC run - exactly an hour ago. Earl's satellite presentation has continued to improve since then. CIMSS is catching up to the remarkable transformation that Earl has undergone this evening. It's at least a 6.5 - they build lag into the model, to smooth variations - and probably somewhat higher, perhaps as much as a 7.

Which is not to say that those wind speeds are currently observable on the surface - there's a lag with rapidly intensifying storms, particularly large ones like Earl. But it does mean that, absent sharp weakening, we'll start to see these winds brought down to the surface overnight.
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1966. MZT
Even if Earl has peaked, he has several hours going into the diurnal maximum to reorganize. Very likely to still be CAT4 at daybreak.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 793
1965. angiest
Quoting stormy2008:
You'd be surprised at how many folks aren't taking this storm seriously.


I'm not surprised. :P
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
1963. 900MB
Pretty much spot on there! Real time might be 927-929mb, but NHC probably a few mb behind. Real chance for Cat 5 overnight.
Member Since: June 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 684
The tropics are juat INSANE tonight this is what we live for !!! THE TWO TONE TALK!!!
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Quoting jeffs713:
Thanks, fortunately a lot of people did evacuate. I can't imagine anyone surviving in those houses that were completely wiped away.
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1960. snowboy
western eyewall just brushing up to the 74 degree longitude line..
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Quoting btwntx08:
for those who thought earls annular think again
## ANNULAR HURRICANE INDEX (AHI) AL072010 EARL 09/02/10 00 UTC ##
## STORM NOT ANNULAR, SCREENING STEP FAILED, NPASS=6 NFAIL=1 #### AHI= 0 (AHI OF 100 IS BEST FIT TO ANN. STRUC., 1 IS MARGINAL, 0 IS NOT ANNULAR) ##
## ANNULAR INDEX RAN NORMALLY




how many time do you need to keep posting that
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115131
Um, I know the storm is really symmetrical. So are my dogs' faces. But I call the storm scary, not beautiful.
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Quoting Bielle:
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?


Tell them to spend the weekend in Amherst.
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1956. Greyelf
Quoting jeffs713:

I doubt it. If the satellite pictures alone aren't doing it, I'm pretty sure the pictures won't either.
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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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