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 weatherman12345:
you think this has the possibility to effect florida?
You're just going to get that "it's too far out" answer, but I can say with confidence that the pattern is undoubtedly changing, and sooner or later the S.E US will get a hit, whether it is from Gaston or another system. Point is, we'll find out soon enough.
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Not looking good at all for us here in eastern,NC.. Last/Only major I was in was Fran in 96'.
Member Since: September 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 725
Best of luck to anyone in Earl's path.

Looks like it'll approach the Outer Banks at night, too.

Of course right now, Fiona is hitting the northernmost Lesser Antilles.

Gaston just has that.. name.
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Kinda moot with Earl's threating but Dr. M the NHC shows Fiona at 997mb. Unless you Dr. Masters have more recent info to say otherwise?

Just asking.
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Quoting TankHead93:
What station man?


I'm watching ABC right now WFTS.
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SO FAR HURRICANE EARL IS GOING WITH THE YELLOW MODEL CALL NGFDL SHE ON THE YELLOW MODEL PATH RIGHT NOW.
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Quoting TexasHoosier:


Cane, I don't see it either. The real push from the trough blowing in from the NW is still 400-500 miles away and from the imagery loops, it appears that Earl may very well beat it to a spot just off the coast where the trough won't make much difference.

The hurricane track is showing a virtual 1 to 1 mile ration in advance (Latitude vs Longitude) so just draw a straight line on a map at 315 degrees from the center of Earl and that shows nothing but bad things happening in the next 24-36 hours.....

I sure hope the NHC has this right. I have friends on Hilton Head and there is some really great golf courses located there....we have Ryder Cup planned for Kiawah in the future and this cannot be a good thing for the golf course.....

.....and of course that is at the low end of the priorities, with all the people living in this area.....Earl, better start turning.....


I'm getting nervous for the folks in SC even. If Earl isn't going more north soon, I just don't see how he'll miss land.
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While Earl is a serious hurricane all affected areas will only see the west side so only people within 3 miles of the shoreline will see sig impact. Others will see lots of rain and some wind. Power outages expected. Now Gaston makes me nervous. The eye is going to go right over someone and the NE side will probably hit someone. Its still early but man Gaston seems like a name that could be retired.
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New England might be getting a rude awakening.
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Repost:

Look, I see a disturbing number of queries in the way of should I stay or leave, will this place or that place be spared, etc.

This blog, though some do have real qualifications to answer the question, is not the place you should be with questions like those.

Even with the considerable experience and knowledge about hurricanes that we may collectively have on hand, we don't know the elevation of the land around you. We don't know the elevation of the floor of your residence. We don't know the elevation of the roads around you and/or if you would like to be on your own, with no emergency services for an extended period of time. [this could go on and on]

We can say that, outside of OBX, there haven't been any other evacuations called for (as far as I know). No one city or area, especially cities well inland, is under the threat of complete devastation from Earl. His damage will be in a pick and choose fashion. He will probably erode enough beach under a few houses to topple them (every NC cane does) and little else. But, some of the lower places from OBX to VA Beach *could* get some floodwaters.

If you still don't know if you should be where you are, it's high time to pay attention to what your local emergency managers are saying. They know your area. Expect that no one in a weather blog has the combination of skills, local knowledge, and trustworthiness that you really need and ignore those that tell you otherwise.
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another tropical wave coming off africa! here comes the H storm!!!
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Category 4 Earl, Fiona, Gaston 9/1/10

Repost from Previous blog
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Quoting CaneWarning:
It looks like our met in Tampa will be talking about Earl in a few minutes. I can't wait to get his take on it.
What station man?
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43. 7544
wow gaston a hur by sunday may be the watch for fla to watch this time
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This Tried my Life in 2008.

This Proves How Much of an Error a NHC track can Have:

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WEDNESDAY 5 PM
MODELS STILL EAST OF MY BIGGEST WORRY..EXCEPT FOR NO GAPS!

If didnt have these models, I would say we are looking at hurricane Edna. I showed the maps of the 15 day period in late Aug, early Sept 1954 with the trio of trouble.. Carol the big hit on Long Island , Dolly the storm that veered away 4 days after Carol, and then Edna which crossed Cape Cod.

It is amazing how close the map 36-48 hours in front of landfall is to what we are seeing here.

The problem with the models... or me, is the phasing of the storm with the trough from the west. My take is that the ridge is a bit stronger to the east as it does break down and the trough to the west is a bit stronger, creating a stream flow that will "hook heighlines" with the storm and trough. The models that are turning this more northeast are more likely to simply let this run around the ridge, keeping the trough separate from the storm enough that there is a an area between the two that is simply a buffer.

Arguing strongly for that idea is the nature of the season. The first year ninas are notorious for that. Why? because of the La Nina jets troughs are broader based, probably a large scale product of the increase in colder temps that is going on with any La Nina on a global scale, and the remaining warmth. The broader based troughs are able to have major, northward displaced ridges downstream, and hence the chance of storms to move west of north at a higher latitude, but once they turn, they tend to turn more sharply. However what is bothering me about this is what is going on worldwide... for about 3 days, troughs are amplifying all over the place..sharply. It is probably a product of the surge southward of colder air out of the arctic into the continents, a fact made crystal clear by the polar temps which are now warmer than normal, indicating the cold air that lead to the cool summer up there is on the move, which it should be.. cold air is meant to displace warmer air, and the response is the raising of pressures enough to allow the areas where water is warm to come to life with cyclones... there is a western Pacific burst going on now also.

The NOGAPS has the disaster scenario again.. a 1944 track, and by the way, this is close to where that was too. However I think this is a low chance threat.. enough so its a conversation piece, but little beyond at this time. The GFS supports the Edna option more..

Strange bedfellows, me and the GFS

I am still wondering if Fiona gets out. What appears to happen is the low level system leaves, and the upper feature stays behind. But look, something should be in the southwest atlantic or gulf by NEXT weekend just looking at this pattern. Perhaps it is the newly minted Gaston. At the very least, you have to be impressed with the parade that began and it is a naming frenzy now..4 in 11 days.. lets see that makes 7 total.. keep that pace another 44 days...( ha ha)

The gulf is interesting as slowly thunderstorms are increasing and I am watching this.

Another come and go cool shot is in front of us..down the plains, to the east, and the response from the tropics to the raising of pressures is obvious. What is not as obvious to me is if I am correctly picking out a shift 50-100 miles west in the track. As it is its just barely left of the guys with the hatch it job. Honest I hate changing a forecast after having it for 5 days, but I have been staring at maps of Edna and this looks like it.

The practical aspect of this is that a NYC gets 1-2 inches of rain and gusts to 40 mph.. DC is missed.. Providence and Boston get 2-4 inches of rain, perhaps gusts to 70 mph with blow out tides in Narragansett bay. The twin forks on Long Island. about the same. Cape Cod and the islands the worst storm since Edna.. a level up from Eduoard. Even though Bob as strong, it was not as big as this one is. The outer banks have been hit a few times in the past 10-15 years so unless the center crosses, and I think it stays a bit offshore, this is not their worst storm, but it is one that is bad.

The northwest track has held this afternoon. Of course if this gets back to 76.5 or 77 west, then its a moot point about whether this is Edna.. it would be more like Carol or 44 in the end game.

Perish the thought ciao for now ****

by JOE B
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting NJ2S:
What can we expect in NYC .... My Job is literally less then 5 ft above water level in hoboken, nj the water rises a few feet with a moderate easterly wind.....should I be concerned???
Absolutely
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Quoting EtexJC:


Right here, and i said the first half would be lesser than other years, and i was right....


that is a very broad statement

what do you mean by first half? do you mean end of August? That is exactly half of the season in terms of days and 6 named storms is above average

and what other years are you describing? the hyper-active ones? So we had less storms in the first half of the season than 1995 and 2005 and barely less than 2004 and 2008

wow this season is a bust *rolls eyes*
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It looks like our met in Tampa will be talking about Earl in a few minutes. I can't wait to get his take on it.
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I think that ____ is going to hit Florida.

Happens at LEAST once per storm. That's in the Wunderground Teamsters contract.
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Quoting CaneWarning:
I can't believe the cone wasn't pushed west by the NHC. I just don't see how this thing turns like they are saying it will. I know I'm probably wrong though.


Cane, I don't see it either. The real push from the trough blowing in from the NW is still 400-500 miles away and from the imagery loops, it appears that Earl may very well beat it to a spot just off the coast where the trough won't make much difference.

The hurricane track is showing a virtual 1 to 1 mile ration in advance (Latitude vs Longitude) so just draw a straight line on a map at 315 degrees from the center of Earl and that shows nothing but bad things happening in the next 24-36 hours.....

I sure hope the NHC has this right. I have friends on Hilton Head and there is some really great golf courses located there....we have Ryder Cup planned for Kiawah in the future and this cannot be a good thing for the golf course.....

.....and of course that is at the low end of the priorities, with all the people living in this area.....Earl, better start turning.....
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Quoting gtownTX:
Where are all those prognosticators who called this season a bust?


Right here, and i said the first half would be lesser than other years, and i was right....
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Quoting carolinabelle:


...really don't want to think about that... hoping it stays far enough off the coast to spare everyone the worst of it!


Truth. I'm in North Chuck. And as long as Earl is southeast of Charleston, I'm keeping my eye on him, forecast track or no forecast track!
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Very scary trend going on in the Atlantic as it seems that almost every single tropical wave that has emerged since Danielle has turned into a tropical cyclone.

I will have a blog entry in a little bit, but if there is any system that I am deeply worried about is not only Earl, but Gaston...that guy will be a bad boy.

My prayers all to those in Earl's path, and please, please, prepare! Best be safe than sorry.
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Quoting stuckinfl:
I wish everyone in Earls path the very best and keep safe!

Rita


+100000

I wish there were more posts like this on here

I mirror your sentiments
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SATELLITE AND RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT FIXES INDICATE THAT EARL
HAS BEEN MOVING RELENTLESSLY TOWARD THE NORTHWEST OR 310 DEGREES
AT 15 KNOTS. THE HURRICANE IS ABOUT TO REACH THE WESTERN EDGE OF
THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE AND SHOULD BEGIN TO TURN MORE TO THE
NORTH-NORTHWEST AND NORTH LATER TONIGHT AND THURSDAY. IN ABOUT 36
HOURS OR SO...THE HURRICANE WILL ENCOUNTER THE BASE OF THE
MID-LATITUDE WESTERLIES AND SHOULD BEGIN TO RECURVE OR TURN TO THE
NORTHEAST WITH AN INCREASING FORWARD SPEED. THIS IS THE SOLUTION
CONSISTENTLY PROVIDED BY TRACK MODELS...WHICH HAVE EARL PASSING TO
THE EAST BUT NOT FAR FROM THE OUTER BANKS OF NORTH CAROLINA ON
THURSDAY NIGHT. ONLY A SMALL WESTWARD DEVIATION OF THE TRACK TO THE
WEST WOULD BRING THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE TO THE COAST.
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MAYBE 45 MPH TONIGHT AT 11PM
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27. NJ2S
What can we expect in NYC .... My Job is literally less then 5 ft above water level in hoboken, nj the water rises a few feet with a moderate easterly wind.....should I be concerned???
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I wish everyone in Earls path the very best and keep safe!

Rita
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Thanks Dr. M
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My money is on OBX, literally... too much emphasis on this "turn." What if there is none? Always a margin of error, especially with computer models.. OBX is almost gone as it is.. no dunes, no sand, no drainage infrastructure... Talk about a worse case senario..

Will be terrible if NC gets hit....
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invest 99L BY THURSDAY NIGHT
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"Looks like Earl took a slight jog to the west, again. It's hard to imagine why he would want to do that. ULL to the West, perhaps, tugging on him?"

Bear in mind storms of this intensity are apt to wobble. Don't take too much stock in short term movements but keep a watchful eye.
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Where are all those prognosticators who called this season a bust?
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Quoting CaneWarning:
I can't believe the cone wasn't pushed west by the NHC. I just don't see how this thing turns like they are saying it will. I know I'm probably wrong though.


Actually I agree with you. The trough in the midwest has slowed CONSIDERABLY and isn't expected to reach NC/VA border until Saturday. Without that, it is almost unlikely (not impossible but def not likely) to turn the way they say. Get ready OBX, its got its eye on you.
Member Since: June 26, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 126
Quoting GainesvilleGator:
If Earle doesn't start to turn by midnight, the NC coast, not just the Outer Banks will get hit. People along the NE coast will not be sleeping well for the next couple of nights. The early model runs have Gaston much more South & West than prior three storms, pretty scary.


Hey G'ville. I used to live there. Probably the safest place to be if you're in florida during a storm.
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Quoting TDogg:
Back to a 4. Kinda reminds me of Hugo...


...really don't want to think about that... hoping it stays far enough off the coast to spare everyone the worst of it!
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17. bwat
(blog at my post, repost)I dont doubt earl will turn northward once he passes the ridge, strong storms want to go poleward. My question is when does that happen, and when does the trough come into play to give us a NE turn? What else am i missing?
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If Earle doesn't start to turn by midnight, the NC coast, not just the Outer Banks will get hit. People along the NE coast will not be sleeping well for the next couple of nights. The early model runs have Gaston much more South & West than prior three storms, pretty scary.
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I have a feeling that Gaston will impact florda,but its to early to tell.
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I can't believe the cone wasn't pushed west by the NHC. I just don't see how this thing turns like they are saying it will. I know I'm probably wrong though.
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Earl took a slight jog to the west again not good at all..the tropicals are going crazy
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Thanks, Dr. M...

TWC has Cantore on the beach in N.C..and he says people aren't leaving in large numbers yet...with the uncertainty in impacts in this area, this is not smart..
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Quoting bwat:
Thanks for the update! Keeping our eyes open in eastern NC!


Yes we are!
Member Since: September 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 725
10. bwat
I don't doubt Earl will turn northerly once he passes the ridge, strong storms want to go poleward. My question is when will that be, and when does the trough come into play to give us a NE turn?
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Back to a 4. Kinda reminds me of Hugo...
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we are going to watch Fiona to..wow
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Looks like Earl took a slight jog to the west, again. It's hard to imagine why he would want to do that. ULL to the West, perhaps, tugging on him?
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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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