Earl a Category 4 storm again

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

Share this Blog
2
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1056 - 1006

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59Blog Index

Quoting 2ifbyC:


Radios and TVs can run via the proper adapter if they are DC powered. For small AC items, you have to use an inverter.

As for a fridge, probably not unless it's one of the solid state types.

I use my gen set for the fridge and chest freezer.


thank you for the answer. I am ignorant of stuff like that. Maybe they'll have a book somewhere that will tell me how and what I need to have to do it. Had more than enough of primitive living after Katrina. And Gustav was little better, just not nearly as long lasting. Camping is fun, but I like to do it voluntarily and very temporarily.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1054. angiest
Quoting UpperLevelLOL:
So around what time tomorrow should we be looking for that turn N or even NE?


My you are the optimist. Earl, turning when he's forecast to turn? :)
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
I wouldn't say there's a 100% chance the storm won't hit Florida. Check out some historical tracks, looping happens. Doggone my understanding is that only about 60%-70% of hurricanes will stay within the cone of uncertainty for the entire 3-day period. That is by no means definitive!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1052. 7544
is earl tuning ne ?

is fiona truning west ?

could gaston be a another major ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1051. dmaddox
strong Cat 4:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The conservative LGEM has gone even more aggressive with Gaston:

V (KT) LGE mod 35 38 41 44 48 54 60 67 79 91 101 109 117
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
And the blog is definitely eating posts. Someone a while back posted an image showing the outflow channel to the north as being very impressive, and I couldn't agree more!

All that mass is being pumped out of center of Earl giving us our pressure drop...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Nice surf condition late afternoon in Florida. Tomorrow and Friday are going to be epic :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1047. angiest
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Ring of -70c tops surrounding the eye.

Probably will peak around 125-130 knots.



That is starting to look more annular. Don't think its there but he might just make it.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting iammothernature:
FAT A** WAVE COMING OFF AFRICA

I see future Igor over africa.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15702
Earl looks like NNW or possibly due N now. Perhaps it's strength is causing it to get pulled out to sea easier?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hopefully we get a NE quadrant reading soon.. maybe this will be much stronger in terms of winds there... we could see a 170 flight level wind (mph) there which would put this around 145-150
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1042. Patrap
As per the Floater imagery,,the Hurricane is moving NNw at this time..

Floater - Rainbow Color Infrared Loop

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1041. leo305
holy...

the center is clearing..... an the eye wall is becoming very very strong on infared...
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Ring of -70c tops surrounding the eye.

Probably will peak around 125-130 knots.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
Fun to watch animation showing the north movement and jog back to NW. Also shows the intense and complete eye ring of convection.

MIMIC TC GIF
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
Can anyone find a buoy near the center of Earl? Windspeed??
Looks fearsome...


You can find it somewhere in here. :)

National Data Buoy Center
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1037. pottery

Thanks, StormwatcherCI..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
So around what time tomorrow should we be looking for that turn N or even NE?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
FAT A** WAVE COMING OFF AFRICA

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MZT:


That would some serious shee-yat. CAT5's are Carribean formations. Maybe Florida straight. You just don't see them in the Atlantic. (gulp)
The atlantic has been boling for some time with SST
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1032. MZT
Quoting leo305:
Hurricane center says its possible but unlikely that it will become a CATEGORY 5 hurricane


That would some serious shee-yat. CAT5's are Caribbean formations. Maybe Florida straight. You just don't see them in the Atlantic. (gulp)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
wrbn on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

Everyone, The Barometer Bob show is on now. Find out the latest on Earl and friends. Just sign into the storm chat with your WU name. I am there now. StormW has called in tonight and is currently on the Phone with Bob, hear the great man's thoughts and prediction on Earl and Friends.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I think this is the first time since I've been on the blog that we may be dealing with a true annular hurricane. I usually don't call a hurricane annular but think about it, it never really did fluctuate in intensity when it underwent an EWRC. The eye is very symmetrical as well. I guess the only thing that is left to be seen is if it can maintain major hurricane status longer than what the NHC is forecasting after encounters the cooler waters and potentially higher shear.
Well Earl has been surprising people,and the NHC now for days.I don't think he's stopping just yet.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15702
1029. marmark
Quoting kingzfan104:
<
Honey child, you just do not know.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1028. leo305
any tiny rain shower near earl would produce monstrous winds..

the winds earl is producing in the higher levels of the atmosphere are dam well into CAT 5 intensity
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
1027. hydrus
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Would not be a surprise at all to see a special advisory on Earl to 140-150 mph..
I was feeling a little optimistic an hour ago. Now I am worried.
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Bermuda is going to get some Very serious wave action from Earl!
Water is at least 30.C in and around 30 degree,s north. A lot of fuel for Earl.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1026. angiest
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I think this is the first time since I've been on the blog that we may be dealing with a true annular hurricane. I usually don't call a hurricane annular but think about it, it never really did fluctuate in intensity when it underwent an EWRC. The eye is very symmetrical as well. I guess the only thing that is left to be seen is if it can maintain major hurricane status longer than what the NHC is forecasting after encounters the cooler waters and potentially higher shear.


See my post 1004.

I do seem to recall reading that transition to annular occurs during or shortly after an EWRC. It is almost like the entire core turns into a huge eyewall.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
1025. 2ifbyC
Quoting msmama51:


How would you run..say couple of fan or a radio or tv on them? guess they wouldn't power a fridge tho, huh?


Radios and TVs can run via the proper adapter if they are DC powered. For small AC items, you have to use an inverter.

As for a fridge, probably not unless it's one of the solid state types.

I use my gen set for the fridge and chest freezer.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good evening all

Does anyone have a link to the animated predictions map from FNMOC? Tried searching the site but as a layman, I do not really know what I'm looking for, and the orignal link I have from here is in my navy.mil email.

George
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
Can anyone find a buoy near the center of Earl? Windspeed??
Looks fearsome...
Conditions at 41047 as of
(7:50 pm EDT)
2350 GMT on 09/01/2010:
Unit of Measure: Time Zone:

Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.
5-day plot - Wind Direction Wind Direction (WDIR): SE ( 140 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 44.7 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 54.4 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 29.5 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 12 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 9.4 sec
5-day plot - Mean Wave Direction Mean Wave Direction (MWD): SSE ( 160 deg true )
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.54 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.00 in ( Steady )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 83.7 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 84.0 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 77.9 °F
5-day plot - Heat Index Heat Index (HEAT): 94.1 °F

This is the closest one I could find.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1021. Patrap
NEXRAD Radar
Jacksonville, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting winter123:


Omg I just **** my pants when I saw that! Then I saw your disclaimer. Impressive doomcasting though!


Dont label me.

Im not the one who made it.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
evening all. looks like earl heading north mabee everyone will get lucky and it will start moving ne
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting truecajun:



today is the anniversary of Hurricane Gustav 2008. is that what that image is of. if so, this season is up to speed now with 08 since we've got our "G" storm.

Hurricane Ike actually formed two days ago today (two years to the minute from the first advisory on Gaston), so technically, we are still two storms down from 2008. Hermine might form somewhat soon, but 2008 developed Josephine the next day as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1017. Patrap
Quoting aquak9:
the tiniest little offshoot of rain from Earl, and it blew out our local transformer.

Wooom, Woooom, Woooom we could hear it in the distance, power flickered three times, and now we are all powerless.

Jacksonville


Also on the Long Range radar.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI


TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Looks like this one will be heading WSW after it fully emerges.

Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 4 Comments: 15718
Quoting TerraNova:
Earl appears to be annular or close to it.

From Wikipedia:

An annular hurricane or truck tire pattern hurricane is a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific Oceans that features a large, symmetric eye surrounded by a thick ring of intense convection.

Annular hurricanes also tend to persist, even when encountering environmental conditions which easily dissipate most other hurricanes. Forecasters have difficulty predicting the behavior of annular hurricanes; they are a recently recognized phenomenon, and as such, little is known about their tendencies. Because of this, they can be more dangerous than typical hurricanes.

I think this is the first time since I've been on the blog that we may be dealing with a true annular hurricane. I usually don't call a hurricane annular but think about it, it never really did fluctuate in intensity when it underwent an EWRC. The eye is very symmetrical as well. I guess the only thing that is left to be seen is if it can maintain major hurricane status longer than what the NHC is forecasting after encounters the cooler waters and potentially higher shear.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21032
Aqua, feel your pain. we are in Jax too and power went out today for almost an hour with blown transformer guessing with the winds we had today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1012. Patrap
Quoting aquak9:
the tiniest little offshoot of rain from Earl, and it blew out our local transformer.

Wooom, Woooom, Woooom we could hear it in the distance, power flickered three times, and now we are all powerless.

Jacksonville


One can see that Lil T-storm that came thru here aquak9.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting OKadjuster:
is STORMW also known as Tom Walsh?
Yes, that's him. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1010. pottery
Can anyone find a buoy near the center of Earl? Windspeed??
Looks fearsome...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1009. angiest
Quoting leo305:
Hurricane center says its possible but unlikely that it will become a CATEGORY 5 hurricane


They *rarely* forecast a storm to make it that high, but they do mention the possibility in some storms.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Everyone, The Barometer Bob show is on now. Find out the latest on Earl and friends. Just sign into the storm chat with your WU name. I am there now. StormW may has called in tonight and is currently on the Phone with Bob, hear the great man's thoughts and prediction on Earl and Friends.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1007. leo305
I wonder, if it becomes a CAT 5 will TWC finally go to storm alert?
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753

Viewing: 1056 - 1006

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.