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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506. xcool
btwntx08 .where my pizza at
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15626
I have no idea what you people in Florida did to peeve the GFNI, but you better stop it.



AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI


TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting IKE:


He does get carried away...add Stephanie Abrams(sp?), and they both need a shot of 7 and 7.
Hes drinking too much jolt cola again!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting miracleaa1990:

I agree 100% - I noticed this on the sat link that Ike put up> IMO, it is still NW/NNW and the eye is temporarily making it seem due north


It does appear to be enlarging and new "Hot Towers" are showing in a ring around the eye. Could be another 5 mph spin being added...
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Quoting FLdewey:

Well if he said that than he's a goof. ;-)


This isn't 2012.
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Quoting alaina1085:

Better then you!


pwned
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Well we know for sure in T-40 mins if Mr. Earl really did change his direction. I still think NHC will say no.
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Quoting FLdewey:

Hopefully on a significant ship!

I've fooled around with 15 footers and that was enough to require a change of underwear.


Canadian navy does not have... significant ships... it was a Frigate.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
496. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


50 foot waves making it onshore is crazy.


50 foot waves can happen. They've happened in the GOM with Ivan.
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looks like it is moving NNW right now..

also looking stronger
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Quoting CaneWarning:


That's a nice northern turn then.
If it were right.

it's more like 72.9W to 73.9W
and 25.2N to 26.8N
Member Since: August 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 373
Quoting Manny:


Eh - I'd be more concerned with your Air Quality Alert. LOL


I think I am, it's ridiculous.
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Quoting hydrus:
Over 80 feet!? Where the heck were you when that happened? I saw 25 and they looked huge...


Retired Canadian Navy, Hecate Straits in excess of 80ft (winter storm) and the South China Sea during a Typhoon.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
490. BDAwx
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Strengthen.


I was thinking that... but was afraid to be on the right train of thought because I didn't like where it was going.
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Quoting IKE:
I looked at the floater on Earl....added the longitude and latitude and came up with...

26.8N
73.2W.

Coordinates the NHC had on the last advisory was...

26.3N
73.3W.



Ike,
How acurate do you think you can determine the exact COC... Can you really determine it to within a tenth as you are noting...This is not a smart a$% question...I want to know how you do it?
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Quoting Manny:


Eh - I'd be more concerned with your Air Quality Alert. LOL


LOL- Agreed! haha
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Quoting FLdewey:
50 foot waves ridiculous?

09 01 2:50 am NNE 66.0 83.5 48.6 15 10.6 ESE 28.13 -1.09 77.9 83.1 77.5 - - -

That was buoy 41046 last night at 250am.

Thats 48.6 feet.

Don't get me wrong Cantore is a television personality, but it's not false info.


50 foot waves making it onshore is crazy.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting CaneWarning:


Wow Taz, how are you almost up to 90,000 comments? You just might get your goal of 100,000 by the end of the week!


yup any ways i have noteed Earl eye is march better in the last few loops
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Hey Bluehaze

Are Passangers Allowed to Sleep in the Airport, when a Hurricane Shuts the Airport Down?



From what I understand, no. I work off of 25th street in a cargo building augmenting ASOS (piece of junk). We are supposed to shut down as soon as winds get to 50mph sustained.
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484. Manny
Quoting TerraNova:
Well, I'm officially under a tropical storm watch here in Essex County NJ.



IT IS TOO EARLY TO PROVIDE EXACT WIND AND SURGE FORECAST VALUES
FOR SPECIFIC LOCATIONS. A GENERAL CONCERN SHOULD BE FOR THE
POSSIBILITY OF AT LEAST DAMAGING WINDS LIKELY SOMEWHERE WITHIN
SOUTHEASTERN NEW YORK...NORTHEASTERN NEW JERSEY AND SOUTHERN
CONNECTICUT.


Eh - I'd be more concerned with your Air Quality Alert. LOL
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483. IKE
Quoting CaneWarning:


That's a nice northern turn then.


That's where I saw it. I'm probably off on the 73.2W.
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Earl did a little N jaunt
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Quoting BDAwx:
What will Earl do with the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream?


Strengthen.
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Quoting Ryuujin:
Actually, looking at the zoom in on Earl it looks like he's headed a bit more NNW in the last loops, but also that the eye itself is expanding, which is making it appear that he's heading more north. If that makes any sense. But the eye is getting larger.

I agree 100% - I noticed this on the sat link that Ike put up> IMO, it is still NW/NNW and the eye is temporarily making it seem due north
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I have been in waves in excess of 80ft, and they get bigger then that.
Over 80 feet!? Where the heck were you when that happened? I saw 25 and they looked huge...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20546
Can someone give me a percentage of how many times a hurricane veered off course and made the NHC look like idiots? LOL @ the amount of people that say nope it's heading this way or I bet it does this or hey it's wobbling I think it's going to hit such and such now. I know there are some times anomalies in weather but come on people. The NHC is around for a reason, why don't you trust them? Why waste your time wishcasting. I went through hurricane Ivan in 2004, you don't want to deal with that chaos and disruption. If you want a change of pace in life, find a new job, travel, do something else, but don't wish a hurricane to help you with your midlife crisis.
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474. IKE
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Jim Cantore.. Lol.. No Offense .. But hes going Overboard. There are 5,000 People in that area and they are/have already evacuated, now if a hurricane was heading for a large city like Miami or New York, then it would be justifyed for him going crazy


He does get carried away...add Stephanie Abrams(sp?), and they both need a shot of 7 and 7.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
I looked at the floater on Earl....added the longitude and latitude and came up with...

26.8N
73.2W.

Coordinates the NHC had on the last advisory was...

26.3N
73.3W.



That's a nice northern turn then.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
471. BDAwx
What will Earl do with the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream?
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Quoting stillwaiting:
...,actually not true,100% chance earls not going to hit florida!!!!or.......alaska,see a forecast can be 100%


well I meant in a situation like the one right now
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Well, I'm officially under a tropical storm watch here in Essex County NJ.



IT IS TOO EARLY TO PROVIDE EXACT WIND AND SURGE FORECAST VALUES
FOR SPECIFIC LOCATIONS. A GENERAL CONCERN SHOULD BE FOR THE
POSSIBILITY OF AT LEAST DAMAGING WINDS LIKELY SOMEWHERE WITHIN
SOUTHEASTERN NEW YORK...NORTHEASTERN NEW JERSEY AND SOUTHERN
CONNECTICUT.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Jim Cantore.. Lol.. No Offense .. But hes going Overboard. There are 5,000 People in that area and they are/have already evacuated, now if a hurricane was heading for a large city like Miami or New York, then it would be justifyed for him going crazy
Ratings babeeeeeee! RATINGS..He has always been excited over these things making landfall..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20546
Quoting FLdewey:
50 foot waves ridiculous?

09 01 2:50 am NNE 66.0 83.5 48.6 15 10.6 ESE 28.13 -1.09 77.9 83.1 77.5 - - -

That was buoy 41046 last night at 250am.

Thats 48.6 feet.

Don't get me wrong Cantore is a television personality, but it's not false info.


I have been in waves in excess of 80ft, and they get bigger then that.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting rarepearldesign:
So if it moves N now, is the track to move east significantly such that it misses NS, or would it likely still hit but more on the east side?
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Earl is heading north of NW for sure. Likely NNW or NNWN
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Quoting twooks:
I say TWC is just excited, because not much happened last year. Got to let out that built up energy somehow XD?


I'm sure they need the ratings.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
462. amd
the last two hours has definitely showed a more northern movement (direction at least a NNW heading, if not almost due north).

It has also definitely showed some strengthening as the eye is becoming much clearer.

Hi-Res IR Imagery of Earl
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Quoting aasmith26:


It's absolutely ridiculous. Jim needs to CHILL out.


Do you guys not see what he is doing he is trying to scare people into evac the area beacuse you never know what might happen. Plus he is very excited beacuse it is his first real storm of the season (I know that is no excuse to act like this but he is just trying to get people to prepare ffor the worst).
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Quoting leo305:


well someone saying it WILL do something is absurd.. because today a forecast is never 100% NEVER.

saying it will not hit land, and then it hits land would end up destroying a person's credibility. Saying it may or may not hit land in a situation like this wouldn't.. forecasting is different from other things.

Because going by your word, if everyone thought, its not going to hit, and nobody prepares and a MAJOR HURRICANE hits, despite the forecaster's word, whats ganna happen then?
...,actually not true,100% chance earls not going to hit florida!!!!or.......alaska,see a forecast can be 100%
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
Quoting CaneWarning:


I know, but this storm is not bringing 50' waves to shore.


they never said 50' waves to shore
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
I looked at the floater on Earl....added the longitude and latitude and came up with...

26.8N
73.2W.

Coordinates the NHC had on the last advisory was...

26.3N
73.3W.



sigh....
Member Since: August 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 373

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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.