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 TropicalAnalystwx13:


I'm getting tired of people critizing the NHC.

Both Fiona and Gaston meet/met the criteria.
don't take it so personal. i said gaston looks better than fiona. i also said fiona should be down graded. the question was why didn't they call gaston a depression first? i always get amazed at how people can have their opinion and refuse to let others have their own opinion without getting angry about it. its just opinion. i actually think the nhc does a great job.
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down in the 920's....wow....earl might make a run at cat 5 tonight if he keeps going like he is...
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Ok, so after all the time I've been lurking here and there on this blog, you'd think I'd remember this. So, I'm looking at the pretty pictures of Earl and wonder, what makes a hurricane qualify as "annular"? And, is an annular hurricane more or less dangerous than a "regular" one? If it is more dangerous, why?

I'll hang up now so I can listen to my answer on the air.
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Quoting BaltOCane:
"her-mine" or "her-MY-knee"?

her - MY - uh - knee
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752. amd
center of Earl just found by recon: 26.983N 73.417W

Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1024
If that 928mb reading is correct, Earl is the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix.
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Advisory 29 forecast parameters applied to a surge model.

Peak water level results:


Peak wind swath (from Holland vortex):
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
*yawn* What a boring season...




+10,00 that was a funny one
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Quoting Cat5Hurricane250:
927.5 mb
(~ 27.39 inHg)
From Earl? :O
That's either a strong Category 4 or a low-end Category 5 or Earl is again having a pretty low pressure for a 115 kt hurricane.
Quoting BaltOCane:
"her-mine" or "her-MY-knee"?

The former, I think, but that's from Mr. Alex, a text-to-speech voice in Mac. :P
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Quoting MahFL:
still a solid NW movement.


Yep, it was a wobble. check last frame, its totally west now of 73N now.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t2/flash-rb.html
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Quoting fldude99:


I'm not sure about beautiful? Ever been thru one of these? It is PURE EVIL as its happening..scary and just an evil feel to it
Quoting fldude99:


I'm not sure about beautiful? Ever been thru one of these? It is PURE EVIL as its happening..scary and just an evil feel to it
They are beautiful only if they are no where near a landmass or vessel.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting JLPR2:
I think I lost my jaw, Gaston already and 99L is on the way?


This is nuts!

Also, good evening everyone! XD
10 is what u see with 11 12 13 to come and then some home grown just for fun
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Quoting jason2010xxxx:
WE ARE GOING TO HAVE LIKES TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES EVERYWHERE SOON..


technically... that is correct.
that would be sub-atomics
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Quoting StormW:


OUCH!
Perfect! Great to see ya' Storm!
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Time: 23:50:30Z
Coordinates: 26.9833N 73.4167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 616.8 mb (~ 18.21 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 3,605 meters (~ 11,827 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 927.5 mb (~ 27.39 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 253° at 4 knots (From the WSW at ~ 4.6 mph)
Air Temp: 15.3°C (~ 59.5°F)
Dew Pt: 8.1°C (~ 46.6°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 7 knots (~ 8.0 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 14 knots (~ 16.1 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 2 mm/hr (~ 0.08 in/hr)
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927.5 mb
(~ 27.39 inHg)
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"her-mine" or "her-MY-knee"?
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000
URNT15 KWBC 012351
NOAA3 WX07A EARL9 HDOB 27 20100901
234130 2701N 07245W 6423 03604 9749 +085 +087 174107 109 063 006 00
234200 2701N 07247W 6407 03611 9731 +085 +088 172109 111 066 006 00
234230 2701N 07249W 6412 03587 9703 +091 +092 173111 112 068 005 00
234300 2700N 07251W 6385 03604 //// +091 //// 176114 117 073 004 21
234330 2700N 07253W 6367 03603 //// +091 //// 177114 116 077 006 21
234400 2700N 07256W 6362 03589 //// +095 //// 182117 119 083 007 25
234430 2700N 07258W 6331 03600 //// +097 //// 183123 124 087 005 21
234500 2700N 07300W 6336 03563 //// +092 //// 179127 130 094 008 21
234530 2700N 07302W 6290 03589 //// +093 //// 180127 128 096 008 21
234600 2700N 07304W 6243 03616 //// +089 //// 183129 130 099 012 21
234630 2659N 07306W 6209 03623 //// +104 //// 186113 121 100 009 21
234700 2659N 07308W 6223 03577 9369 +117 +116 183084 090 095 003 03
234730 2659N 07310W 6243 03533 9337 +130 +113 181062 070 082 002 00
234800 2659N 07313W 6180 03610 9307 +144 +097 180051 056 050 004 03
234830 2659N 07315W 6191 03588 9309 +136 +098 180043 045 027 003 00
234900 2659N 07317W 6187 03585 9306 +131 +104 174036 038 022 002 00
234930 2659N 07320W 6146 03636 9290 +139 +093 173026 031 013 004 00
235000 2659N 07322W 6161 03613 9284 +144 +084 176014 016 016 002 00
235030 2659N 07325W 6168 03605 9275 +153 +081 253004 007 014 002 00
235100 2659N 07327W 6177 03601 9286 +152 +081 329016 020 008 001 03
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Everyone, The Barometer Bob show is about to get started at 8PM ET. Find out the latest on Earl and friends. Just sign into the storm chat with your WU name. I am there now.
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Hurricane Earl off of the eastern Bahamas earlier today around 2pm EDT.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Bustcasters ;)
The lull between Colin and Danielle were full of them but after Danielle, Earl, Fiona, Gaston formed in a span of 11 days, they're nowhere to be seen. :P
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Quoting jason2010xxxx:
WE ARE GOING TO HAVE LIKES TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES EVERYWHERE SOON..
Evryone will have their own personal cane to watch soon at this rate.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting miliohara:
Earl is so Beautiful. These storms, even though they spread so much fear and devastation they are a beautiful and an awe inspiring sight. I'm starting to believe Gaston is a Florida storm. Anyone else think it's a possibility?


I'm not sure about beautiful? Ever been thru one of these? It is PURE EVIL as its happening..scary and just an evil feel to it
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Clearly moving nnw with earlier jog to north, prompting forecasting. With a recent jog west as evidenced by loops posted a page ago or on this one
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Clearly moving nnw with earlier jog to north, prompting forecasting. With a recent jog west as evidenced by loops posted a page ago or on this one
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Food for thought.



Expect some Tropical Development past 55W once the MJO arrives.
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927.5 mb extrap
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Quoting CRAZYBEAR:
Guys, I'm very nervous about Gaston. I am putting up shutters as we speak. later will be on my way to Publix to buy 48 gallons of water


Better get 2 carts.
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All i can say is that Mid-September will bring us at least 4 TC's at a time, IMO. I mean, we have three storms active, and we're in a downward pulse of the MJO!

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723. JRRP
and the next name is... ???????
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000
ABPZ20 KNHC 012344
TWOEP
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 PM PDT WED SEP 1 2010

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 200 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
MANZANILLO MEXICO CONTINUES TO SHOW SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION.
UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BECOME A LITTLE MORE CONDUCIVE
FOR DEVELOPMENT DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS THE SYSTEM MOVES
NORTHWESTWARD AT ABOUT 10 MPH. THERE IS A HIGH CHANCE...80
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BROWN


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721. MahFL
still a solid NW movement.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Not only is the upward motion based in the Atlantic quite sickening, but even if it does leave, it will naturally propagate westward over Africa, which will unluckily cause for some more intense African waves.

Que for StormW's "OUCH!" punchline.


Rut Roh!
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Quoting RecordSeason:
Best it's looked since maybe 0900GMT yesterday...


before the end of this night you shall see a ring of white it will be the second and final peak in this system
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Quoting StormFreakyisher:
I really feel sorry for the Upper Antilles and PR. Now they have to think about Gaston and the one behind it.Some people probably won't even know about these storms because they lost power so they can't get news about these storms.
And this could be just the beginning for them. I am not a doom-caster, but I know you can see whats happening in that part of the world.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Food for thought.

Not only is the upward motion based in the Atlantic quite sickening, but even if it does leave, it will naturally propagate westward over Africa, which will unluckily cause for some more intense African waves.

Que for StormW's "OUCH!" punchline.
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Quoting MoltenIce:
LOL, again, I wonder what happened to those deadseasoncasters or how do you call them.


Bustcasters ;)
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Earl is so Beautiful. These storms, even though they spread so much fear and devastation they are a beautiful and an awe inspiring sight. I'm starting to believe Gaston is a Florida storm. Anyone else think it's a possibility?
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Come on Jason, that's a bit babyish, Norcross knows what he's talking about.
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Peaked, for the second time round ?
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Quoting WxLogic:
Good evening...

Current Steering for Earl:



Fluctuations in its directions should be expected as it "bumps" or "tests" the DLM High to its East for further weaknesses in order to deflect to the right. Due to the current steering I believe it should be heading NW to NNW... if not N if the High is not strong enough on its western periphery.

You can also see that the TROF currently over C CONUS and Earl should feel more its effects as it gains latitude and which should also induce a quicker forward motion in the next 24HRs.

Thankfully we have HH out there so they should validate for us if a more northerly component to its motion is materializing as hinted by SAT obs.


WXlogic,
Thank you for your in depth posts. Good reads. All of them.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
if florida goes this year untouched by a hurricane it would be a miracle


It has since Wilma,October 05
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18z models

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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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