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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2806. Zeec94
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


whatever you want orca haha no sleep for me though...


Same here...UGH. I have to get my summer paper done tonight too!
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2805. leo305
Fiona is going boom...

Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
2804. Manshar
Quoting Orcasystems:
Actually... it might be right on the XTRAP by moving the forward motion up 3.5 hours from the last fix.


Being on the XTRAP for more than a VERY short period of time will turn out to be a pretty bad thing indeed...
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Quoting Orcasystems:
I think I should go to bed before they find it.. and update it in the morning :)



ohs they??
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2802. xcool


GASTON - & 99l
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
00z CMC
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Quoting silverstripes:
I just placed my mark and I will say it for sure will be port of the main model cluster you have in your image Orca. It appears to be running the OFCL/MRCL model lines.


The plane is already to port..so its a safe bet
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I didn't take it wrong. I just stated my case. Not mad or anything. Its good ole honest humor that makes anything work. Besides as you have been informed there are other states between the 2. I appreciate this site and the folks on it. Will never go thru another one! Ike was enough! And I evacuated 100 miles inland from the coast!
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Quoting Orcasystems:
I think I should go to bed before they find it.. and update it in the morning :)


whatever you want orca haha no sleep for me though...
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I just placed my mark and I will say it for sure will be port of the main model cluster you have in your image Orca. It appears to be running the OFCL/MRCL model lines.
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2796. wjdow
Quoting Tazmanian:




i wouls re move that During active periods of hurricane season, these rules will be strictly enforced. Violations will be met with a minimum 24 hour ban.


hearing no second, motion is tabled.
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2795. leo305
Quoting Tazmanian:
ouch they this found 95kt winds and i dont there in the center yet


yea.. and apparently the center is looking west of the model tracks.. I mean I expected it considering it's been moving NW on satellite..

Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
I think I should go to bed before they find it.. and update it in the morning :)
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ouch they this found 95kt winds and i dont there in the center yet
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Quoting texascoastres:



haha, hes just playin texas :p were stressed out here too dont worry :)
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2775 updated
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Quoting Tazmanian:




i wouls re move that During active periods of hurricane season, these rules will be strictly enforced. Violations will be met with a minimum 24 hour ban.
huh?
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2787. Zeec94
Quoting texascoastres:


Just playing with you man. With the amount of concern you need to have a bit of humor on tonight. I am in the NC/VA area and need to have something to laugh at right now. Sorry if you took it wrong. Sorry. =D
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Quoting leo305:


I just noticed its really speeding up towards the NW.....


I'm noticing the same thing!
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2785. leo305
not sleeping until someone posts the latest vortex message! Orca I am counting on you! =P
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
2782. wjdow
Quoting Zeec94:


What's the state in between NC and MD. Think really hard...=D


washington?
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Quoting Zeec94:

Hey play nice! Its midnight here and I've been up since 5:30am yesterday. and I'm on here and trying to listen to the weather to! I caught 2 of them, that wasn't bad. I was also backed up by another person on here.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Aww crap... Plane altered course to port





i think its 20-30nm port... which is bad it doesnt wanna go due north and it better start turning soon itll probably be at 74.5W at 2am...
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Fiona is moving under an upper level high.

Link

Link

Meanwhile, Gaston continues to bloom in the central Atlantic. What is more, the models (especially the GFS) are showing more storms coming over the next two weeks.
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Going to bed at 1:30AM EST and he's churning along at a solid NW direction...hope I wake up to better news
Member Since: September 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 725
Aww crap... Plane altered course to port



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Quoting Orcasystems:

Port = Left
Stbd = Right

If we say its moving to the west of track... people freak and have to go and change their underwear.


ROFL.....Thanks....Need the Humor right now!!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
07L/MH/E/C4
MARK
28.17N/74.23W
nearing coast
That is some STORM imagine if it fit as a strong 3 or weak 4.Good Night. Hope it turn NE!!
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2772. leo305


I just noticed its really speeding up towards the NW.....
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
07L/MH/E/C4
MARK
28.17N/74.23W
nearing coast



dang
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Can they turn the blackout offf? it only lasted 30 mins?
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2769. Zeec94
Quoting texascoastres:
3 states NC, MD and one other I cant remember have already declared a state of emergnecy


What's the state in between NC and MD. Think really hard...=D
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2767. mkmand
Quoting Orcasystems:

Port = Left
Stbd = Right

If we say its moving to the west of track... people freak and have to go and change their underwear.

Oh ok HAHA!

It seems like he's been PORT the whole time the past 3 days.
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Orca,

Im going port as well. New GHCC image I got the center about 28.36N and 74.11W. Its pretty close to the track though.
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2765. redUK
Quoting RecordSeason:
I'm about to scream consipiracy on the satellites.

they conveniently all stop updating/black out now, as Earl is turning NW to maybe even WNW?

What's up with that?


24hr satellite Link
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
Quoting mkmand:
Ok can someone explain the PORT / STBD for me?

Port = Left
Stbd = Right

If we say its moving to the west of track... people freak and have to go and change their underwear.
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2763. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
07L/MH/E/C4
MARK
28.27N/74.23W
nearing coast
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Quoting texascoastres:
3 states NC, MD and one other I cant remember have already declared a state of emergnecy


VA
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Quoting BreadandCircuses:


img src="" alt="" />




i wouls re move that During active periods of hurricane season, these rules will be strictly enforced. Violations will be met with a minimum 24 hour ban.
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2760. Acorna
This random lurker is off for the night. Sort of scared what I'll find when I wake up in a few hours.

Goodnight, Wunderground.
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At this year maybe a super-hyper season.
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2758. leo305
mhm I kinda wanna be a hurricane hunter
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Actually... it might be right on the XTRAP by moving the forward motion up 3.5 hours from the last fix.
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2756. Zeec94
Quoting RecordSeason:
I'm about to scream consipiracy on the satellites.

they conveniently all stop updating/black out now, as Earl is turning NW to maybe even WNW?

What's up with that?


People didn't heed the warnings to evacuate. He noticed and said screw it, i'm going to nail them with all force and will make them think twice about evacuating next time. =P
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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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