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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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: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Jim Cantore Overhyping the Situation saying where he is located will be "Ground Zero"


He just said he talked to people who weren't planning to leave and didn't even know it was a Cat 4.
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401. xcool
btwntx08 lol
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
400. DDR
Quoting xcool:
Gaston nott going out sea /

Thats definately not good.
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399. IKE
Visible through 2245UTC...Link
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Jim Cantore trying to scare the crap out of people right now on TWC. :-\ I think it needs to STOP.
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Quoting aislinnpaps:
As I went through the gate this morning, I remembered something. The lady who's husband is deployed. If you hold a military ID card you can evacuate to any military instalation and they will take you in and put you up. I went to Little Rock Air Force Base (Army ID card)three days after Rita hit. While I had a son stationed there and stayed with him, the SP at the gate first tried to send me, the kids, dogs and parrot to to the central commmand they had set up for evacuees for housing. Also, if you are military and you take in military (maybe non-military as well?) who have to evacuate, you send in the paperwork and you are reimbursed for expenses.

Only get expenses if a military evacuation order is given.
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Siestacpl...why is your avatar rattlesnake on carpet???????
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393. xcool
Earl moved nnw
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Gaston and Pre-99L



The Africa Wave machine is relentless
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389. xcool
sammywammybamy yep some model support
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting IKE:


I see what you're saying(especially the 2215 visible)...maybe it's moving more north + the lower angle of the setting sun kind of throws off the center of the eye.


Ike,

Are you westcasting!!!
The angle of the sun. pfff. (joke)
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Quoting bwt1982:
My early opinion is Gatson is a FISH!!!!

Due to what? The ridge looks pretty strong and not seeing a trough strong enough to help break the ridge down so it can pickup Gaston and big it with. It could take an earl track which I guess would make it is fish storm. I'd like to see another couple of models runs first because satelite is showing that ridge not going anywhere anytime soon.
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Quoting TerraNova:


Roughly 22 miles in diameter via GE's measuring tool.


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..
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As I went through the gate this morning, I remembered something. The lady who's husband is deployed. If you hold a military ID card you can evacuate to any military instalation and they will take you in and put you up. I went to Little Rock Air Force Base (Army ID card)three days after Rita hit. While I had a son stationed there and stayed with him, the SP at the gate first tried to send me, the kids, dogs and parrot to to the central commmand they had set up for evacuees for housing. Also, if you are military and you take in military (maybe non-military as well?) who have to evacuate, you send in the paperwork and you are reimbursed for expenses.
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382. redUK
Quoting Floodman:


Try again...turn off all the animation but the first and last image and you'll see a movement more like 310 or 315; NW


Done that with 20 loop animation here

and I'll concede that it is NNW.

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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
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Quoting Cotillion:
It's kinda interesting that there's a collective chill down the spine when anyone mentions Gaston.


Perhaps it is the French pronunciation...personally I rather like the guy...
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I come here to follow and learn about weather ... Hurricane/Typhoons are the highlight of the year. I also love the photo section here ... It is a must see for anyone.
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377. JRRP
ok the boring season continue...
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Cot, I think I'm safe...Somehow, I just don't think Gaston is going to come to Charleston two times in a row...Although, guess he could feel a little lame since he did a half @$$ job the first time...Was still a nasty little storm, but certainly not a major.


Hey SJ. Some storms like to repeat their previous adventures - Bertha seems to be a case in point - whereas most don't. Gaston doesn't feel to be one of those, agreed.
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My early opinion is Gatson is a FISH!!!!
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Quoting IKE:


I see what you're saying(especially the 2215 visible)...maybe it's moving more north + the lower angle of the setting sun kind of throws off the center of the eye.


I agree..
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
372. JeffM
Quoting Barkeep1967:
For you that have been on here for a few years. Is it time to turn on the tunnels ?


That guy was a trip!
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Quoting OBXNCWEATHER:
how large is earl's eye?

ty


Roughly 22 miles in diameter via GE's measuring tool.
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What/who is Barometer Bob?
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 884
FROM DARE COUNTY (CAPE HATTERAS) EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

Bulletin Number: 5

Date/Time: 9/1/2010 6:40:35 PM

Mandatory Evacuation for Residents and Visitors of Hatteras island

Dare County has announced a mandatory evacuation for all residents and visitors on Hatteras Island effective at 6:00pm Wednesday, September 1. The latest storm track has shifted Hurricane Earl to the west putting hurricane force winds over Hatteras Island early Friday morning.

The evacuation order for both residents and visitors of Hatteras Island does NOT apply for areas north of Oregon Inlet. At this time, the order does NOT include the towns of Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Southern Shores, Roanoke Island or mainland Dare County.

As Dare County Emergency Management closely monitors the storm, residents and visitors should be prepared for the possibility of additional evacuations that may be needed tomorrow for mainland and northern portions of Dare County.

A Hurricane Warning was issued today by the National Hurricane Center for all of Dare County and the North Carolina Coast. A Hurricane Warning indicates that sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or higher are expected within 24 hours.

Dare County Emergency Management advises preparing for the storm by securing all loose outside objects. Other recommended preparation steps include assembling an emergency kit with nonperishable food, water and clothing to sustain each family member for three days.

Household emergency kits should also include a flashlight, radio, spare batteries, medications, blankets and rain gear. Also recommended are photocopies of important family documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies. Pet owners are reminded to make sure their animals have an identification tag on their collar.

Today Governor Bev Perdue declared a State of Emergency for North Carolina in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Earl. The Governor’s order calls for all state and local agencies to cooperate in the implementation of provisions of the North Carolina Emergency Operations Plan. North Carolina is running extra ferry routes from Ocracoke Island and established an emergency shelter in Pitt County at North Pitt High School at 5659 NC Highway 11 North in Bethel, North Carolina.

On nearby Ocracoke Island, Hyde County Emergency Management issued a mandatory evacuation at 5:00am this morning for all visitors and residents of Ocracoke Island.

All Dare County Schools will be closed on Thursday, September 2 and Friday, September 3. Makeup days are scheduled for Saturday, September 11, and Friday, October 29. All after-school activities are cancelled for Thursday and Friday, including the After-School Enrichment Program

Court sessions at the Dare County Courthouse are cancelled for Thursday and Friday. Those with cases scheduled for either of those days will receive a letter from the Court advising of a new date.

Dare County Parks and Recreation has cancelled all activities for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The National Park Service today closed their Visitor Centers, Campgrounds and the Hatteras Lighthouse until further notice. Ocean-side beach access for off-road vehicles in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore closed at 5:00pm today. Severe coastal storm surge flooding is expected beginning on Thursday. If conditions permit, pedestrian access is allowed.

The Town of Duck’s residential trash collection scheduled for Friday, September 3 has been cancelled. Residential trash will be picked up on the next regularly scheduled collection day which is Monday, September 6. Commercial trash pick-up is not affected.

The Town of Kill Devil Hills will not have residential solid waste collection on Friday, September 3. However, there will be town-wide residential collection on Thursday, September 2. Rollout containers should be placed at the road Wednesday night and remember to properly secure the container after it has been serviced on Thursday.
Normal collection will resume Monday, September 6.

The Town of Nags Head advises all residents and visitors staying on or off of South Old Oregon Inlet Road in South Nags Head to closely monitor the news and weather. It is expected that this area will experience ocean overwash and you should be prepared to leave your home if conditions warrant or if an evacuation is called.

As part of readiness precautions being taken by the Dare County Social Services Department, contact is being made with Hatteras Island residents on the special needs list.

All scheduled rides through the Dare County Transportation System have been cancelled for Friday, September 3.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to monitor local news outlets for further advisories from the National Weather Service and state and local emergency management officials. Bulletins will be issued as needed and available at www.darenc.com and on Government Access Channel 20.

###
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Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:
I think it has turned north.


models may adjust slightly east due to this.
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I'm certainly seeing more of a northern component in Earl's movement. If that's the case, and it continues, Earl may pass well offshore, especially if we begin to add eastern movement.
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earl looks like it's getting stronge
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
365. IKE
Quoting VARob:
Looks like Earl is that turn to the North.


I see what you're saying(especially the 2215 visible)...maybe it's moving more north + the lower angle of the setting sun kind of throws off the center of the eye.
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I think it has turned north.
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362. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting StormJunkie:


Ahh, I think CB ran away with the keys to them...


LOL!
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how large is earl's eye?

ty
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Quoting Cotillion:
It's kinda interesting that there's a collective chill down the spine when anyone mentions Gaston.


Cot, I think I'm safe...Somehow, I just don't think Gaston is going to come to Charleston two times in a row...Although, guess he could feel a little lame since he did a half @$$ job the first time...Was still a nasty little storm, but certainly not a major.
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Quoting xcool:
Gaston nott going out sea /


Unfortunately it's looking more and more like somebody other than shipping interests will have to deal with Gaston.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Hmmm now while everyone was ignoring what would become Gaston on sunday I was the one that pointed it out,and a few days later people started to catch on.Now the once ignored/neglected 98L could become a serious threat down the road.Pat on the back.


ATTA BOY ! (that plus a dollar good for a cup o' joe)
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Quoting washingtonian115:
You didn't know we were playing hide-and-go-seek.Your it!


LOL i refreshed like 5 times, there was no updates, I thought maybe I lost internet connectivity. DOH!
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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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