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: 606 - 556

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

Only way for earl to go west would be a loop da loop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We could have 7:4:2 by the end of the week. Wow what a "dead season"!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
604. redUK
Earl is looking good on latest IR sat.

Recon is on it's way in and should be near the centre very soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


A bald head is more aerodynamic and can handle wind better. LOL
I think he could have waited to put his goggles on.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22618
Earl has met the western periphery of the subtropical ridge and has begun to move towards the N. I will like to see this continue for at least 1 to 2 hours before calling it actual motion, but there is a great chance that it is.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.


Excellent commentary...
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 383
Quoting pilotguy1:


Cows could jump over the moon but I haven't seen it yet.

lol now that's funny.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting thewindman:
WE ARE HEADED EAST to FISH


We? you have a mouse in your pocket?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RyanFSU:
The Last 29 forecasts from HWRF for Earl including the most recent:


All 29 composited? Kewl.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Current News Agencys Covering:

CNN - Isreal/Palestine Confrence
CNN Headline News - Cops
MSNBC - Hardball
CNBC - Wall Street
FOX - Typical junk
ABC - Nothing
CBS - Nothing
NBC - Nothing
TWC - Countuing Coverage for Hurricane Earl.


Spoken like a true liberal......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
looks like earl made a wobble N and the eye is getting larger, temporary wobble or a long term trend
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
New frame looks like the NNW jaunt, was a wobble.NW again. Probably caused by intensification of the strom.Deep thick convection wrapping equally around the center and expandeing well defined eye.. Big stroms wobble while intensifying.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
594. IKE
Still looks like he's going almost due north on the 2315 visible on him. I put my pointer on where he starts on the loop and it ends almost due north...Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.


You can definitely see that there is a significant Northern component in the movement in the last several frames on the radar...agreed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
WE ARE HEADED EAST to FISH
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
That elongation to the North makes me a little nervous - hopefully it starts to erode.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The Last 29 forecasts from HWRF for Earl including the most recent:


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:


There Completeing the M.I.A. mover to Miami Central Station.

Ive Always Wondered Why Miami doesnt have a Second Airport.

Its a Large City

FLL is Close But.. Dont You think they Should have a JFK (Miami International Airport) and a Domestic Airport near by?

I wonder if they Ever did a study on it.


They were going to build an airport out in the Everglades back in the 70's. Environmentalist put a stop to it 'cause it would disrupt water flow in the Everglades with all of the roads and traffic etc that would have moved out that way. There is a super long runway out there called TNT that is used only for training puposes. I haven't landed there yet, but I will try it out soon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
584. IKE
Quoting Grecojdw:


Heck it happened during Ivan when the I-10 Bridge in Pensacola got knocked out on one side by a 50 ft wave killing a semi driver on it as pieces collapsed into the Northern side of Pensacola Bay. I had to drive that at the time when I was getting my Bachelors at UWF on a two lane bridge on a U.S interstate. They didn't complete the new bridge till the end of my Bachelors degree. The commute was a nightmare having to drive from Okaloosa County:0


I remember that terrible scene with the bridge. Yes...it was a nightmare to cross.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
**EARL** Looks like he is East of the NHC forecast points as of now anyway. Let's hope and pray for the people up North it stays that way.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
There's no question that over the last 2.5 to 3 hours that Earl has moved north or just slightly west of north.

Click on the link below, turn on the Lat/Long lines and manually move the frames forward and backward and you can clearly see the change in direction.

Water Vapor in Motion

Of course the question is will it be a temporary wobble or a more prolonged change in direction.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


I think wobbles are important now. I'll continue to watch them.


Watch..yes..we are all doing that (note I had the details of said wobbles down to the minute from sat loops..but don't determine a direction with every wobble..we get sea sick trying to swing too hard port and then starboard!
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 383
Quoting VARob:
I went back and looked several times and the Northern turn is in fact starting which is Good news.
This may only be a wobble and you must remember if there is nothing to push it east, that means it will only impact higher up the coast. Look at its outflow, it does not seem to be getting pushed east at all. Also the trough is not the best orientation
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
nice turn by Earl.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Being a major hurricane it's still not out of the question that Earl could jog considerably west.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


A bald head is more aerodynamic and can handle wind better. LOL
I bet Earl will split that one hair up there just beautifully.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting LADobeLady:


ROFL that picture is in my hometown Houma, LA that was for Gustav. I was so sick of seeing the video of the roof blowing off at St Francis.


:). I did a quick google image search and i thought it would've been PERFECT for that comment. ha!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


That is a great shot of what will hopefully be a near miss. I can (again, hopefully) tell my family out in NJ that they will only get some low TS winds. Thanks for that!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Barkeep1967:
For you that have been on here for a few years. Is it time to turn on the tunnels ?


Thanks, but two years of tunnels was enough for most of us. ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
573. VARob
I went back and looked several times and the Northern turn is in fact starting which is Good news.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BVIweather:
Hi everyone, first time blogger. Just wanted to let you know how the British Virgin Islands faired through Earl. Earl passed approx 20 miles north of Anegada (as a cat 4) and approx 60 miles north of where I am in Tortola. I estimate we had 100mph winds here in Road Town with lots of trees down, a few boats washed ashore and some structural damage.It was a very very wild night and we retreated downstairs to the safe part of the house around 6pm on Monday night. Hugo in 89 was worse but this was much stronger than forecast. We expected 60 mph winds in Torotla....no way was that only 60mph....Anegada got hit pretty hard and we're stll awaiting the reports from that island.Earl is a pretty bad boy so please be prepared if its tracking towards you. Fortunately Fionia has missed us and we expect some rain tonight. Gotta watch for Gaston now!!!


Good to hear, let us know how Anegada went.

The preliminary reports sounded like they got hit pretty bad, but everything's still mostly intact.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aasmith26:


Jim Cantore

I'm not so sure I can, lol


ROFL that picture is in my hometown Houma, LA that was for Gustav. I was so sick of seeing the video of the roof blowing off at St Francis.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting redUK:
Earl is now considerably east of where the NHC expected it to be:

Thats about 30 miles...to the east. that's deceiving.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting Flyairbird:
HE needs a hair piece more than goggles.


A bald head is more aerodynamic and can handle wind better. LOL
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Ocracoke is a ferry only island, 2.5 hr trip to mainland on a good day, 45min to hatt. then a bridge to mainland if you go north. gov of nc has declared s.o.e... i believe she said we have seen these storm turn when they were not supposed to before...i.e. fran
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:


You could be right. I'm haven't really looked at the wave forecast for the coast of NC.


Heck it happened during Ivan when the I-10 Bridge in Pensacola got knocked out on one side by a 50 ft wave killing a semi driver on it as pieces collapsed into the Northern side of Pensacola Bay. I had to drive that at the time when I was getting my Bachelors at UWF on a two lane bridge on a U.S interstate. They didn't complete the new bridge till the end of my Bachelors degree. The commute was a nightmare having to drive from Okaloosa County:0
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aasmith26:


Jim Cantore

I'm not so sure I can, lol

ROFLMAO!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
563. amd
Quoting Ryuujin:
oop, last frame of the new image looks like a wobble back NW for Earl


yeah, i see the same thing on the latest Hi-Res IR satellite shot. In strengthening major hurricanes, substantial wobbles are likely. However, IMO, Earl is steadily gaining more of a northern movement compared to a western movement.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BVIweather:
Hi everyone, first time blogger. Just wanted to let you know how the British Virgin Islands faired through Earl. Earl passed approx 20 miles north of Anegada (as a cat 4) and approx 60 miles north of where I am in Tortola. I estimate we had 100mph winds here in Road Town with lots of trees down, a few boats washed ashore and some structural damage.It was a very very wild night and we retreated downstairs to the safe part of the house around 6pm on Monday night. Hugo in 89 was worse but this was much stronger than forecast. We expected 60 mph winds in Torotla....no way was that only 60mph....Anegada got hit pretty hard and we're stll awaiting the reports from that island.Earl is a pretty bad boy so please be prepared if its tracking towards you. Fortunately Fionia has missed us and we expect some rain tonight. Gotta watch for Gaston now!!!


Glad you are OK!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting btwntx08:
one thing to note before i go told ya those were wobbles


Where's the Pizza man..it's getting cold waiting for ya'!
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 383
Quoting BVIweather:
Hi everyone, first time blogger. Just wanted to let you know how the British Virgin Islands faired through Earl. Earl passed approx 20 miles north of Anegada (as a cat 4) and approx 60 miles north of where I am in Tortola. I estimate we had 100mph winds here in Road Town with lots of trees down, a few boats washed ashore and some structural damage.It was a very very wild night and we retreated downstairs to the safe part of the house around 6pm on Monday night. Hugo in 89 was worse but this was much stronger than forecast. We expected 60 mph winds in Torotla....no way was that only 60mph....Anegada got hit pretty hard and we're stll awaiting the reports from that island.Earl is a pretty bad boy so please be prepared if its tracking towards you. Fortunately Fionia has missed us and we expect some rain tonight. Gotta watch for Gaston now!!!


Thanks, and welcome!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


LMFAO


I got a good laugh myself, nothing like comic relief during a serious situation. ha ;-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LADobeLady:
Can one take Jim Cantore seriously if he's not wearing the goggles?
HE needs a hair piece more than goggles.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting FLdewey:
Maybe Jersey will get some fresh air... for a few hours.


That bad air must be from all that hairspray Snooki puts in her poof.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
After being through 5 hurricanes on the N Gulf Coast, I have learned there are 3 stages of sound after a hurricane.
1. Silence. No birds, wind, people, traffic, airplanes. Just an eerie silence.
2. Chainsaws, closely followed by generators.
3. Mosquitoes. Lots of mosquitoes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 606 - 556

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

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

Local Weather

Overcast
29 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron