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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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.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
mark my words Gaston is not a fish storm


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!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667




Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting jason2010xxxx:
u like gaston

Better then you!
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Quoting Cotillion:


It could be, it's just interesting that it's not just a couple of people and wasn't just mentioned because he's formed, but a few days previous. Some French sounding names aren't 'scary' though - Eduoard, Henri.

The power of suggestion, probably. Maybe it's just one of those lists.


For now I think it is something innocent but then in the back of all our minds..."when is the next reallllyyy bad storm going to find land"...so each name can dredge up those thoughts...staying hopeful here for now...in FL....
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451. JRRP
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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.
Member Since: August 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 373
Words to aviod:

NOT
WILL
IS
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398:

Why?

why is it so "hard" for people just to go ahead and leave, even if it is a "waste of time"?


That's a lot better than sitting around getting killed in a Katrina, or in this case a Hugo-ish storm...

Apparantly it isn't too much for an idjit to spend his own money on gear, a plane ticket, and a rental car to go chase a storm on the other side of the country from where he lives. But it's too "inconvenient" for locals to evacuate to save their own family's lives.



It only takes one time of him being right and you being wrong, and everyone in your neighbourhood is dead...

Maybe just think about that.
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2336
447. 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.

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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
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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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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 wish they had their storm alert theme back =/

Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Next update may show a storm with 145-150 MPH.
Satilite shows that Earl is looken better than ever actully from satilite the storm may be able to reach Cat5 status. I know it is a long shot but it may happen.
Look at this satilite picture and tell me what you guys think.



I think 150 mph.
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I say TWC is just excited, because not much happened last year. Got to let out that built up energy somehow XD?
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 92
Quoting leo305:


well there was a 49' wave reported yesterday near a bouy in the bahamas


I know, but this storm is not bringing 50' waves to shore.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting sammywammybamy:


The highest recorded surface gust, within Andrew's northern eyewall, occurred at the home of a resident about a mile from the shoreline in Perrine, Florida. During the peak of the storm, a gust of 212 miles per hour (341 km/h) was observed before both the home and anemometer were destroyed. Subsequent wind-tunnel testing at Clemson University of the same type of anemometer revealed a 16.5% error. The observed value was officially corrected to be 177 miles per hour (285 km/h).[1]

Data collected at the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station terminated at 5:05 EDT before winds reached maximum strength. The anemometer recorded sustained winds of 145 miles per hour (233 km/h) before it failed, and a barometric pressure of 922 mb was recorded. Gusts exceeding 175 mph (280 km/h) were also observed. The data from Turkey Point reflects shoreline measurements (not inland), as it is situated directly on the coastline.[21] A National Weather Service-Miami Radar image recorded on 24 August 1992 at 4:35 EDT [08:35 UTC] superimposed on a street map by the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA clearly indicates the most powerful winds within the northern eyewall (conditions greater than 48 dBZ) made landfall between SW 152 St. (Coral Reef Drive) and SW 184 St. (Eureka Drive) in the Perrine/Cutler Ridge area.[22] dBZ readings indicate Decibels of Z (radar echo intensity/reflectivity) and help map the relative strength of storm activity within a weather system. This extremely powerful band within the northern eyewall corresponds with the exact latitude range where the highest surface wind gusts of 177 mph (248.8 km/h) and lowest barometric pressure was recorded at a private home in Perrine and evaluated by Clemson University.[


My parents house is at 174th and 85 Ave and the whole east side was blown in... the patio was in the pool, but strangely enough my car (I was in Korea working as an WX Observer in the Air Force) only had one small trianle windo blown out. We didn't get power back on until late November and it took us three years and multiple contractors before our house and our lives were sort of back to normal. I now work as an Observer at MIA INTl Arpt.
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Quoting JamesSA:


I don't know what kind of work your lab does and I am sure your explanation is an oversimplification for brevity's sake.

But... If a lab is testing jet engines and determines they have a 15% probability of exploding on any given flight, I would not want to be told they were OK because 85% of the time they do not explode.

I guess it depends on the kind of work they are doing whether having yes or no as the only acceptable answers makes sense. Some types of testing are pass/fail.

Personally, as you describe it it scares me.

Yes, it was probably over simplified. Here is an example. For aviation weather they need forecasts for ceiling heights and visibility for their flight plan. THey use TAFs for that. A TAF states what time over a 30 hour (24 hours depending on where you are) period on what those conditions are and they fly off of those. That is a forecast. Then they call in and get the Ob prior to take off and landing. to make sure they are still in cat. There is no where in a TAF to state 50% chance. It is all or nothing. That is just one example of a product that is similar to what I am talking about.
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Quoting alaina1085:
I see Gaston has been born!
u like gaston
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Jim Cantore is an idiot.

Gaston NOT going out to see. But...we'll see.
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Next update may show a storm with 145-150 MPH.
Satilite shows that Earl is looken better than ever actully from satilite the storm may be able to reach Cat5 status. I know it is a long shot but it may happen.
Look at this satilite picture and tell me what you guys think.

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Quoting NOLALawyer:


I remember being Uptown in NOLA the first weekend that anyone was allowed back. There were no animals. No noise at all. It was very eerie.
the sound of death
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
mark my words Gaston is not a fish storm
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115347
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HurricaneFCast, I hope you're not insinuating that's what I was implying. Isn't it however highly unusual for the strongest side of a system (where this max wind speed is derived) not to be where the rotation of the storm combines with its forward progress. Especially a storm moving at such a clip. With a storm impacting a coast northward, you'd expect the east side strongest, west side weakest. This is what the meterologists are rereiterating.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
TWC is really hyping it talking about 50 foot waves that are coming for OBX... uh huh.


It's absolutely ridiculous. Jim needs to CHILL out.
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Quoting SiestaCpl:


Perhaps it is the French pronunciation...personally I rather like the guy...


It could be, it's just interesting that it's not just a couple of people and wasn't just mentioned because he's formed, but a few days previous. Some French sounding names aren't 'scary' though - Eduoard, Henri.

The power of suggestion, probably. Maybe it's just one of those lists.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
TWC is really hyping it talking about 50 foot waves that are coming for OBX... uh huh.


well there was a 49' wave reported yesterday near a bouy in the bahamas
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Also, there is not ONE BIT of localized wording in our "hurricane local statement" from MHX... I don't understand what is going on.... the entire thing is generic, addresses areas of other AFOs, contains glossary terms, blah blah blah.

This storm could potentially destroy us and isolated communities within the three OBX counties as a whole (Dare, Currituck & Hyde). I have seen other AFOs provide area-specific 'scenarios', and I think it would be important for MHX to say 'this is currently forecast for these areas, and this is the potential soundside flooding surge on XX course (left of cone).

sheesh. sorry guys. i'm staring down a monster and i need to vent. ty.
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Quoting weatherwart:
What/who is Barometer Bob?


Its a Online Show. Storm W Calls in a lot.
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Quoting bwt1982:
My early opinion is Gatson is a FISH!!!!



way too soon too call that
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Oz is live on video, talking hurricanes: http://tinyurl.com/ozlive
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The blog is eating posts again.
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I see Gaston has been born!
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420. DDR
Nice image
terrible set up...
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earl will start weakening very very soon mark my word
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

Only get expenses if a military evacuation order is given.


Not true. Fort Polk was not evacuated. Not enough time with Rita. Roads were blocked due to emergency evacuation of south of us. Little Rock AFB still took in evacuees and my son was paid for housing all of us. (People only of course)
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Quoting OBXNCWEATHER:


Thank you (again)... I am getting a little nervous now.

(and I can't reiterate enough that Jim Cantore hit the nail on the head... if this storm actually makes LANDFALL on the Outer Banks, Dare County Emergency Management ((he didn't say it by name, but I will)) will have blood on their hands)

this could be disastrous. is this storm gonna turn in time???? lol...

thank y'all..


I was in Cape Hatteras/Ocracoke a few years ago. The Outer Banks are beyond beautiful, but I remember noticing how flat the land was (they are barrier islands after all) and couldn't begin to imagine what would happen if a major hurricane came along.

Stay safe.
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415. IKE
Quoting SiestaCpl:


They will not be silenced until it wobbles back NW which it will and then when it wobbles back NNW or North...sigh...


Well...it's kind of important to an awful lot of folks.
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The overall circulation is moving NW, the eye is becoming more organized and circular, so it's resembaling a NNW/N movement for now

or

it could be moving a bit more northward
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
TWC is really hyping it talking about 50 foot waves that are coming for OBX... uh huh.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Hey, Flood. Get my text message?

Jury is still out on Earl.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
all bans and ingores have been tem. removed till after MAJOR HURRICANE EARL HAS PASSEDon my blog page information is there for all to read

KOTG

link to my blog page
Link
Have since visited. Very impressive, Thanks.
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

We dont tell them what they want to hear. We tell them what will happen to the best of our abilities. We do not say well sir there is a 50 50 chance it is going to rain today.


I don't know what kind of work your lab does and I am sure your explanation is an oversimplification for brevity's sake.

But... If a lab is testing jet engines and determines they have a 15% probability of exploding on any given flight, I would not want to be told they were OK because 85% of the time they do not explode.

I guess it depends on the kind of work they are doing whether having yes or no as the only acceptable answers makes sense. Some types of testing are pass/fail.

Personally, as you describe it it scares me, that's all.

Now, will Gaston make landfall in Texas? LOL! ;-)
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409. IKE
Quoting doorman79:


Ike,

Are you westcasting!!!
The angle of the sun. pfff. (joke)


I'm north-casting.
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he got scare he left ha
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Quoting Ryuujin:
It's a wobble to the north. Do we have to go through this again?

Major Hurricanes stair-step when they move. That is, they move a little north and then a little west. They wobble like that especially when they are strengthening (which it seems Earl is doing)

This does not mean that he's turned N! Wait for more than 1 frame of animation to make that determination


They will not be silenced until it wobbles back NW which it will and then when it wobbles back NNW or North...sigh...
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looks as if 10 11 12 13 too come over the next 10 days not including any poss home grown storms to add with it
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827

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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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