Category 4 Earl Approaches the East Coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:49 AM GMT on September 02, 2010

Share this Blog
3
+

Hi, Dr. Rob Carver with your evening blog update. It's a busy night in the tropics with category 4 Hurricane Earl and Tropical Storms Fiona and Gaston in the Atlantic. We'll focus on Earl tonight.

Earl
As of 11PM EDT, Earl is a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 140 mph and faster gusts. From the advisory, Earl is located at 27.8 N, 73.8 W, 520 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC. On average, Earl is currently moving north-northwest at 18 mph. Data from hurricane hunter flights show that Earl's pressure has fallen, the minimum central pressure is now 932 mb. Looking at Figure 1, an estimate of rainfall rates (think radar in space), we see a complete eyewall, with an especiallly vigorous thunderstorm cluster in the northwest quadrant. These


Fig. 1 Estimated rainfall-rate of Earl taken at 9PM EDT 1 September 2010. Image courtesy of the Naval Research Lab

Earl is still a large storm. Hurricane force winds extend 90 miles from the storm center and tropical storm force winds can be found 230 miles away. 12 foot seas extend at least 210 nmi from the center in all directions and may reach out to 450 nmi in the northeast quadrant of the storm. The most recent estimate (930PM EDT) of Earl's integrated kinetic energy is 91 TJ, with a wind impact of 3.1 out of 6 and a storm surge impact of 4.7 out of 6. Like Dr. Masters said earlier today, if the right front quadrant of Earl stays out to sea, the storm surge may not be as significant as this rating indicates.

Track Forecast
NHC has not really altered their track forecast for this update. Thanks to the subtropical high, Earl will continue turning toward the north as it moves around the subtropical high. When the trough in the jet stream comes out on Thursday, Earl will accelerate quickly to the northeast. The timing of the trough's arrival will determine Earl's impact on the East Coast. If the trough comes out quickly, Earl will stay at sea. If the trough is late in arriving, it could move Earl across the East Coast.

That said, the current forecast still holds that Earl's center will stay out to sea, but with Earl's center passing near the Outer Banks late Thursday night, then passing the Delmarva peninsula Friday morning before flying past Cape Cod Friday night and crossing over Canada's Nova Scotia Saturday. There is also a small possibility (less than 10%) that Earl could pass directly over the Outer Banks and/or the Delmarva peninsula. However, with a storm of Earl's size, the center does not have to pass overhead to cause damage. Please keep this in mind when considering your hurricane preparations.

Winds Forecast
Earl's size and track will produce tropical-storm force winds somewhere along the East Coast this weekend, and there is a 28% chance of hurricane-force winds along the Outer Banks. NHC puts out a very useful wind probability forecast. The highlights are that Cape Hatteras, NC has a 28% chance of hurricane-force winds and a 91% chance of tropical-storm (TS) force winds. A wide swath of 30+% probabilities covers the East Coast from Virginia to New England. Cities with a greater than 40% chance of TS winds include Norfolk, Ocean City, Providence, Boston, and Nantucket. Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada has a 62% chance of TS force winds.

Earl is expected to maintain its current intensity until it meets the trough and starts moving northeastwards. The shear from the trough will start weakening it. It will likely go by Cape Cod as a fast-moving category 2 hurricane. When it goes over Nova Scotia, it will likely still be a tropical storm.
Current Watches and Warnings

Hurricane warnings are valid for the coast from Bogue Inlet, NC to the NC/VA border. Hurricane watches in effect from the NC/VA border to Cape Henlopen, DE and from Woods Hole, MA to Sagamore Beach, MA. Tropical storm warnings and watches cover much of the coast in between the NC/VA border and Woods Hole, MA. For the latest information on watches and warnings for Earl, visit our Tropical Alerts page.

Impacts
The primary threats from Earl are going to be storm surge, surf, and wind. Since Earl is forecast to gain speed after meeting the trough, flooding from rain should not be a large problem. From a broad perspective, storm surges are expected to be 3-5 feet above the tidal level, with large breaking waves at the coast. Beach erosion along the Delmarva peninsula and Outer Banks (8-10 foot breaking waves) could be significant. For more localized info, check out NWS's Hurricane Local Statements or our severe weather page.

What to do
People living in areas covered by the watches and warnings should be working through their hurricane preparation plans now. You have less than 24 hours to complete your preparations if you are in the Outer Banks and less than 48 hours in New England. Be sure to listen to local media for statements from emergency management agencies and the local NWS.

Fiona
All watches and warnings for Fiona were discontinued by the 5:00 PM EDT forecast. Fiona is forecast to curve northward without affecting land and dissipate in 4 days.

Gaston
Once Earl moves past Nova Scotia, this is the storm to watch in the tropical Atlantic. While it is far out at sea (more than 6 days to affect land), some computer models suggest Gaston could affect the Bahamas or the Caribbean. Statistical intensity forecast models (LGEM and SHIPS) rapidly intensify Gaston, but the dynamical models (HWRF, GFDL) do not. This storm will be worth watching over the next week or so.

Aerial Reconnaissance
The skies around Earl are going to be very busy Thursday according to the Tropical Cyclone Plan of the Day. There will be 3 flights from the Hurricane Hunters. NCAR and NOAA's Gulfstream's will be flying around Earl. HRD's WP-3D's will be flying research missions every 12 hours. NASA is sending several aircchraft as part of their Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) mission. Their Global Hawk UAV will be flying for at least 24 hours. NASA's DC-8 has a six-hour mission scheduled. Finally, a WB-57 (one of the planes I supported during 2001's CRYSTAL-FACE) will also be flying high above Earl with microwave remote sensing gear. NASA has a nice list of the airborne instruments.


Fig. 2 Photo of Earl's eyewall taken from NASA's DC-8 Image Credit: NASA/Jane Peterson. (Full size image)

Next update
Dr. Jeff Masters will have an update Thursday morning. Dr. Masters, myself, Shaun Tanner, and myself will be participating in a special Hurricane Haven Thursday afternoon to discuss Earl's imminent approach. Dr. Masters will have the finalized details in his blog update.

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: 177 - 127

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 | 29Blog Index

Quoting fatlady99:


No, my Uncle Earl, actually. He was a sumo wrestler. First cracker sumo champion.



I have a new HERO!!......lol....My JV basketball coach told me I aught to take up Sumo.....lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
176. xcool
btwntx08 take the words out of mouth :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Night all...the donuts gave me a sugar crash so it's off to bed or sleep on my keyboard...again...zzzzz
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 379
I am almost afraid to ask, what does the model runs on Earl look like this morning??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


I don't blame him. I wish I was out there with him.


Remember Kori....Ron White Said it best......

It's not THAT...the wind is a Blowin......it's WHAT the Wind is a Blowin that gets you in a Hurricane...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
172. xcool
;
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting traumaboyy:


Are you talking about Earl or did someone post a picture of my Ex Wife on here??


No, my Uncle Earl, actually. He was a sumo wrestler. First cracker sumo champion.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Euro doesn't develop too much behind it Coolio.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HH aircraft is flying towards the eye of Earl, link below:
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Kristina40:
There's something wrong with that boy (Oz). I hope he is smart enough to evacuate if they tell him to. He darn near got himself in deep trouble during Alex, getting stuck on the beach. Here's a hint, Earl ain't Alex.


I don't blame him. I wish I was out there with him.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting fatlady99:


Ya, me too. It's also sort of hypnotic. Huge and terrible....


Are you talking about Earl or did someone post a picture of my Ex Wife on here??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
There's something wrong with that boy (Oz). I hope he is smart enough to evacuate if they tell him to. He darn near got himself in deep trouble during Alex, getting stuck on the beach. Here's a hint, Earl ain't Alex.
Member Since: June 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 760
Quoting xcool:


xcool: while you are no doubt providing some kind of significant insight as to our current weather conditions, I am at a loss as to what that might be. Could you please provide some captions? Thanks~
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:
Cycloneoz is in position now to intercept hurricane earl. He is in bruxton nc. Will resume live broadcasting tomorowwo at 12 pm edt.

7674u.com

He will get WAY more than he bargained for, Earl is a strong CAT 4 storm.

I pray and hope Oz and his team remains SAFE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Papagolash:
I absolutely love teh amount of data we can get these days from storms. The fact that we can follow Hurricane Hunters in near real-time with updates is amazing. So many flights going into Earl tomorrow, I would love to see a report on the data they all bring in. I'm wondering how long it'll be till we are able to see some near real-time radar feeds from the HH while they're in the storm and the storm is out in sea out of range from land based radars.




I'm in awe too. Just read this really light read in our local paper about how far forecasting has come and how much is uncertain. As a side note, if I were a local met right now, I'd be lamenting that this was the wrong week/month to quit doing heroin AND OR smoking...(courtesy AIRPLANE!)

Anyway, if interested, said article can be found here:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/world/breakingnews/forget-gut-instinct-computer-models-and-mathema tics-tell-forecasters-where-storms-will-go-102023428.html

sorry, just learning how to create links...how clumsy...oof.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Kristina40:
Dang Keeper, that's terrifying to me and I'm in Florida, well out of Earl's way.


Ya, me too. It's also sort of hypnotic. Huge and terrible....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RecordSeason:
61:

I think whatever formula that is using is ridiculously flawed.

the gulf and bahamas are among the hottest years on record, and we all know the gulf can make cat 5s quite often, so this year should be no exception, but that graphic makes it look weak.


And bahamas area is the same way? 2 of the storms that made u.s. landfalls AS cat5 went through that region, but these graphics consistently show year after year that it "isn't possible" to get a cat5 there....just doesn't make since...


Well, the two cat 5 hurricanes that hit this area (Andrew and the 1935 Labor Day hurricane) passed over the Florida Current. This current is basically as hot as the Loop Current that blew up Katrina and Rita, but unlike the Loop, it doesn't show up on the THCP chart because the water is too shallow to get a reading. It does show up in one spot, though. There is one red pocket on the chart between the Bahamas and Florida. Basically you're right, this whole region should be colored red, with the area directly around the Bahamas yellow, and can indeed support category 5 hurricanes.

To back up my argument about Earl, though, I have compared the location of Earl to the location of three various cat 5 hurricanes that formed near there. The difference should be clear. Earl has just finished crossing over the same waters that allowed Andrew and Hurricane Dog (1950) to strengthen to cat 5. And now it is about to enter an area of cooler water before it hits the gulf stream just off the coast. (Also, notice how closely the high-TCHP areas correspond with Earl's two intensity explosions, and just how close Earl's current intensification area was to where Andrew initially hit cat 5...)

TCHP Earl
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
159. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #51
TROPICAL DEPRESSION, FORMER LIONROCK (T1006)
15:00 PM JST September 2 2010
================================

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression, Former Lionrock (998 hPa) located at 24.0N 116.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving northwest at 15 knots

THIS IS THE FINAL TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVISORY FROM THE JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
158. xcool


gfs wayway in Caribbean.ecmwf shows going fL .HMMM I CALL THIS KIND CRAZY
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cycloneoz is in position now to intercept hurricane earl. He is in bruxton nc. Will resume live broadcasting tomorowwo at 12 pm edt.

7674u.com
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dang Keeper, that's terrifying to me and I'm in Florida, well out of Earl's way.
Member Since: June 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 760
Quoting btwntx08:
not ragged


Not Ragged at all....Beautiful, Amazing, Terrifying!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
07L/MH/E/C4
MARK
28.77N/74.30W
nearing coast
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
152. xcool
lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting traumaboyy:


Yes It does....btw.....coming over to your place when I get off work...Never Turn Down a Free Monte Cristo!!
lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
150. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #35
TROPICAL STORM KOMPASU (T1007)
15:00 PM JST September 2 2010
================================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon In Sea Of Japan

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Kompasu (994 hPa) located at 39.3N 129.7E has 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts of 60 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving east northeast at 21 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T4.0

Gale Force Winds
================
120 NM from the center in eastern quadrant
90 NM from the center in western quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
========================
24 HRS: 41.4N 137.9E - EXTRATROPICAL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting fatlady99:



no no no, it's the Krispy Kreme icing on the instruments....


Someone Put up the doughnuts....NOW....the Sugar Makin you people NUTS!!!!.......lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SiestaCpl:


Or perhaps not...
The storm, Earl has not yet reached the Gulf Streams warm/hot waters which are currently in excess of 30 C, and the expected shear from the SW has not arrived and is not in front of Earl. The wobbles will continue, more North, then more West repeating until the storm track runs the full edge of the A/B Atlantic High pressure ridges westernmost end, which is itself building north and west even as Earl advances. The trough which was expected to pick up Earl "soon" has been hung up itself by a ULL which dropped along its SE flank into the GOM while Earl pushed the VA based high pressure ridge back into the very trough expected to pick Earl up. Note that the long term cone for Earl is an "S" cone which means the trough is not expected to take Earl out to sea, but instead will only increase his rate of speed and alter his direction until he curves back Westward towards ME and Nova Scotia. In short Earl has lots more energy to pick up from the waters in his path and no real block to more him off his current track..until he runs out of West push from the Atlantic A/B high.


Well said, and I like the way you explained it. I also felt that the ULL was having an unexpected influence, just watching it.

Thank you ...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting smuldy:
Morning! Monte Cristos and Sierra Nevada Dry Hopped Ale here for those seeking something a tad stronger. Looks like a close call for OBX and the Cape on this one.


Yes It does....btw.....coming over to your place when I get off work...Never Turn Down a Free Monte Cristo!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
146. xcool
yay no black out
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SiestaCpl:


Now that's dangerous flying conditions! No licking the control surfaces!!!


LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting fatlady99:



no no no, it's the Krispy Kreme icing on the instruments....


Now that's dangerous flying conditions! No licking the control surfaces!!!
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 379
HH making another run for the center...and I was just about to go to bed...sigh.

Also, that sat image is 2 hours old. Earl is definitely looking more ragged in the most recent frames.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SiestaCpl:


Technically the SW quad is looking a bit flattened, not from shear but because the NW quad is elongating toward the weakness which Earl is feeling..it is in essence spreading out to fill a void it feels to the NW..this is influencing his movement and pulling his convection NW making it harder to refill the SW quad as he spins.


I think his SW side is doing okay. You do have a valid point.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
141. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
5:30 AM IST September 2 2010
=====================================

An upper air cyclonic circulation likely to form over northwest Bay of Bengal around 3rd September 2010 and under its influence a low pressure area may develop around 4th September 2010

BAY OF BENGAL & ANDAMAN SEA
============================

Broken low/medium clouds with embedded intense to very intense convection over Bay of Bengal between 7.5N to 14.0N east of 87.5E. Broken low/medium clouds with embedded moderate to intense convection over west central Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea

ARABIAN SEA:
===========

Broken low/medium clouds with embedded moderate to intense convection over northern Arabian Sea west of 66.5E
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SiestaCpl:


Damn when the HH have problems with the icing on their Krispy Kremes..oops thats not what you meant...well I'm glad they are now reporting again! With or without their Krispy Kremes!



no no no, it's the Krispy Kreme icing on the instruments....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Out for a while! Check back around 8! Be safe everyone.
Member Since: June 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 156
Quoting Zeec94:

Assuming icing or instrument problems.


Damn when the HH have problems with the icing on their Krispy Kremes..oops thats not what you meant...well I'm glad they are now reporting again! With or without their Krispy Kremes!
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 379
Quoting traumaboyy:
Morning Night shift....Coffee and Krispy Cream Donuts here when needed.......What Happened to the HH??
Morning! Monte Cristos and Sierra Nevada Dry Hopped Ale here for those seeking something a tad stronger. Looks like a close call for OBX and the Cape on this one.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AtmosphericWrath:
The last image I have seen the eye has become very circular, no ragged characteristics. Also the SWLY shear which was having a more pronounced effect on Earl's SW quadrant may be lessening. I see the outflow from the CDO is expanding as well as the deeper/colder cloud tops wrapping back around to his SW side. Hmmm...


Technically the SW quad is looking a bit flattened, not from shear but because the NW quad is elongating toward the weakness which Earl is feeling..it is in essence spreading out to fill a void it feels to the NW..this is influencing his movement and pulling his convection NW making it harder to refill the SW quad as he spins.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 379
"Also the SWLY shear which was having a more pronounced effect on Earl's SW quadrant may be lessening."

Bingo.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
134. xcool
:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Zeec94:

Assuming icing or instrument problems.


Thx!!....Been Reel Buzy tonight...not much time to look but was very interested in this mission!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting traumaboyy:
Morning Night shift....Coffee and Krispy Cream Donuts here when needed.......What Happened to the HH??

Assuming icing or instrument problems.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The last image I have seen the eye has become very circular, no ragged characteristics. Also the SWLY shear which was having a more pronounced effect on Earl's SW quadrant may be lessening. I see the outflow from the CDO is expanding as well as the deeper/colder cloud tops wrapping back around to his SW side. Hmmm...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SiestaCpl:


In short Earl has lots more energy to pick up from the waters in his path and no real block to more him off his current track..until he runs out of West push from the Atlantic A/B high.


Well, that answers my question. Thanks!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yonzabam:
10% chance of Earl's eye going over the outer banks according to Dr. Carver's blog.

How many on here would like to bet on that at odds of 9 to 1? I'd have the pension fund on it.



same here, or perhaps a little further south and west
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning Night shift....Coffee and Krispy Cream Donuts here when needed.......What Happened to the HH??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ok blog takin a nap, got real quiet, really fast
Member Since: June 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 156

Viewing: 177 - 127

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 | 29Blog 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

Mostly Cloudy
77 °F
Mostly Cloudy