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 kingzfan104:


just so everybody knows, this guy is a fraud. all he does all day is post things in his blog 3000 times. that is how he got up from 60,000 posts 2 days ago to 90000 today. he is a complete loser.


The fact that you even bothered to post this, or care puts you in the ultimate loser category.
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Would not be a surprise at all to see a special advisory on Earl to 140-150 mph..
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Up to 140mph according to that. May be higher at 11pm if it can continue to intensify. Pressure at 932mb may drop a little bit as well.



ok
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Quoting Tazmanian:
880. kingzfan104 5:25 PM PDT on September 01, 2010 Hide this comment.

Quoting Tazmanian:
winds are holdig for this storm

AL, 08, 2010090200, , BEST, 0, 211N, 636W, 50, 1000, TS,



just so everybody knows, this guy is a fraud. all he does all day is post things in his blog 3000 times. that is how he got up from 60,000 posts 2 days ago to 90000 today. he is a complete loser.

you need to get a life


POOF
sad...too many of them on here.
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I have NEVER seen such an active wave train before. GFS shows this pattern continuing for the next couple weeks!
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Quoting sarahjola:
thanks you are right. so why did they skip the depression status for fiona?


Fiona's maximum winds reached 35kts before she developed a closed circulation, hence she was never a td.
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Quoting Barkeep1967:
This is really not that hard. There may be a jog here and there but the high is going to push Earl towards the coast. Where it goes depends entirely on the trough coming out of the Midwest. If it gets there Earl pushes off if not ? Not good. No way to know until late tomorrow.

The trough in the midwest is going very slow.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting kingzfan104:


just so everybody knows...
Hmmm, and yet you are here on a weather blog criticizing people. Anyways, why do you care?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting sarahjola:
thanks you are right. so why did they skip the depression status for fiona?
it was all about COC.
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880. kingzfan104 5:25 PM PDT on September 01, 2010 Hide this comment.

Quoting Tazmanian:
winds are holdig for this storm

AL, 08, 2010090200, , BEST, 0, 211N, 636W, 50, 1000, TS,



just so everybody knows, this guy is a fraud. all he does all day is post things in his blog 3000 times. that is how he got up from 60,000 posts 2 days ago to 90000 today. he is a complete loser.

you need to get a life


POOF
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Long time reader, first time blogger. Looks like models and swath might be correct all along. Radar showing NNW or even NNNW (made that up) motion. We have beach cottage at Atlantic Beach, NC so hoping models are right.
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Quoting angiest:


How many cat 5's have we had move north while at that strength? A lot of the ones that come to mind (Camille As an exception) were going west.
Dog 1950?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The vortex data message has the pressure at 932mb. A 9mb drop since the 8pm EDT advisory. Also note the 130kt flight level winds in the NE quadrant.

000
URNT12 KWBC 020001
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL012010
A. 1/2350Z
B. 26 DEG 59 MIN N
73 DEG 26 MIN W
C. NA
D. 98 KT
E. 088 DEG 16 NM
F. 183 DEG 130 KT
G. 087 DEG 19 NM
H. 932 MB
I. 9 C/3510 M
J. 16 C/3994 M
K. 8 C/NA
L. OPEN S
M. C30
N. 12345/7
O. 1/1 NM
P. NOAA3 WX07A EARL9 OB 13
MAX FL WIND 130KT NE QUAD 2346Z

Isnt that 156 mph? Wow
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Quoting AussieStorm:
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.
that was not fun
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I really hope that anyone in the path of Earl is prepared and is safe!! We just got pounded here in N.Florida by heavy rain. So the wave train is in motion. Fiona appears will be a washed up FISH down the road but will have to watch Gaston and others.
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Quoting marmark:
I saw gaston as a TD this morning, it was Fiona they skipped.
thanks you are right. so why did they skip the depression status for fiona?
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Has the pattern been set for 2010 season? ie CV storms-- northern leewards---- North Atlantic? Or is there a change expected in the near future?

Thanks in advance for the info
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This is really not that hard. There may be a jog here and there but the high is going to push Earl towards the coast. Where it goes depends entirely on the trough coming out of the Midwest. If it gets there Earl pushes off if not ? Not good. No way to know until late tomorrow.
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Quoting thelmores:


Real? Yes......

But that was an "extrapolated" pressure, and could have been "contaminated"..... seems the "official" number was 932mb.....

Still a very powerful storm.....

Hate to say this...... but it reminds me of Hugo due its appearance and approximate location.....

THANK GOD it does not have the track HUGO did! LOL
Yes it does remind me of Hugo... But 932 is nothing to play with. The eye has cleared out nicely.
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Quoting 2ifbyC:


Expen$ive, but worth it, Optima deep cell!

I have had three on my boat for over ten years now. They're my 'cane backup power besides a gen set.


How many hours you think that battery can move two normal fans?
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Flight level winds of 177 mph would translate about 159 mph on the surface.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
winds are holdig for this storm

AL, 08, 2010090200, , BEST, 0, 211N, 636W, 50, 1000, TS,


just so everybody knows, this guy is a fraud. all he does all day is post things in his blog 3000 times. that is how he got up from 60,000 posts 2 days ago to 90000 today. he is a complete loser.
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T - 23 and some change Thel ;)
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864...

They make it up on a SATURDAY? That's rough. Even when we had Wilma in 2005, school was out for 2 weeks. We added a couple days at the end of the year, and went to school on Veteran's Day, and they took the Wed. before Thanksgiving and a few days before Christmas.
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Quoting InTheCone:


If this is the intermission, I'm not liking what the "real game" is going to show! However, I am afraid that he is correct.


Well.... StormW has been telling everyone the same story since before the season began. This could get ugly soon.
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877. redUK
Earl's core has gotten much more symmetrical over the past few hours:

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Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

Release Location: 26.98N 73.43W
Release Time: 23:50:43Z

Splash Location: 26.98N 73.42W
Splash Time: 23:55:45Z

Mean Boundary Level Wind (mean wind in the lowest 500 geopotential meters of the sounding):
- Wind Direction: 240° (from the WSW)
- Wind Speed: 8 knots (9 mph)

Deep Layer Mean Wind (average wind over the depth of the sounding):
- Wind Direction: 270° (from the W)
- Wind Speed: 7 knots (8 mph)
- Depth of Sounding: From 617mb to 932mb

Average Wind Over Lowest Available 150 geopotential meters (gpm) of the sounding:
- Lowest 150m: 160 gpm - 10 gpm (525 geo. feet - 33 geo. feet)
- Wind Direction: 235° (from the SW)
- Wind Speed: 6 knots (7 mph)
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The pressure drop within Earl is very significant.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
AL, 07, 2010090200, , BEST, 0, 271N, 734W, 120, 932,
Up to 140mph according to that. May be higher at 11pm if it can continue to intensify. Pressure at 932mb may drop a little bit as well.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting serialteg:


with car on?

Lolll, no, i get the battery out of the car and bring it inside the house and hook up the inverter to the battery with cables and a adapter.
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50 miles to the E of the storm there are 50mph winds...That is good news so long as Earl follows guidance and does not make a direct hit on the OBX.
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Quoting pilotguy1:


That may be good as it makes the monster turn more poleward.


How many cat 5's have we had move north while at that strength? A lot of the ones that come to mind (Camille As an exception) were going west.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Earl's flirting with Category 5 status right now per Recon.
It is almost a certainty now that the Outer Banks will receive hurricane force winds. I hope they dont get the eye.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21435
Quoting Tazmanian:
AL, 07, 2010090200, , BEST, 0, 271N, 734W, 120, 932,


Impressive, 140 mph now.

Could even be stronger next update.
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winds are holdig for this storm

AL, 08, 2010090200, , BEST, 0, 211N, 636W, 50, 1000, TS,
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Quoting BossCane:
I just saw that... Is that for real... 927MB...


Real? Yes......

But that was an "extrapolated" pressure, and could have been "contaminated"..... seems the "official" number was 932mb.....

Still a very powerful storm.....

Hate to say this...... but it reminds me of Hugo due its appearance and approximate location.....

THANK GOD it does not have the track HUGO did! LOL
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AL, 07, 2010090200, , BEST, 0, 271N, 734W, 120, 932,
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Here's the dropsonde that got dropped into the eye. Pressure at the surface was after all 932mb.

000
UZNT13 KWBC 020007
XXAA 52007 99270 70734 08073 99932 27410 21007 00/// ///// /////
92071 26810 23506 85819 23002 24507 70503 18440 28006 88999 77999
31313 09608 82350
61616 NOAA3 WX07A EARL9 OB 12
62626 REL 2698N07343W 235043 SPG 2698N07342W 235545 WL150 23506 0
85 DLM WND 27007 932617 MBL WND 24008 EYE=
XXBB 52008 99270 70734 08073 00932 27410 11920 26410 22902 25608
33891 25001 44772 19608 55735 17805 66698 18442 77680 18856 88651
17859 99632 16458 11623 174// 22617 15458
21212 00932 21007 11668 28010 22659 29513 33631 28511 44617 31009
31313 09608 82350
61616 NOAA3 WX07A EARL9 OB 12
62626 REL 2698N07343W 235043 SPG 2698N07342W 235545 WL150 23506 0
85 DLM WND 27007 932617 MBL WND 24008 EYE=

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
859.


We know,,we know..you posted it 3 times.

We all can hear the Wizards.
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Quoting Patrap:
GOES-12 animated Atlantic IR
quite the wave train...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
How many mph would a flight level wind of 130kt recorded at 633.6mb calculate to at the surface?
633? I hope you mean 933...
I think around 175 mph?
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting clwstmchasr:
StormW is now on the Barometer Bob Show


can i have a link please? thanks.
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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.
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Quoting bird72:
recommend me some sort of 12v battery that lasts more than a car battery


Expen$ive, but worth it, Optima deep cell!

I have had three on my boat for over ten years now. They're my 'cane backup power besides a gen set.
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How many mph would a flight level wind of 130kt recorded at 633.6mb calculate to at the surface?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194

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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.