Earl spares North Carolina, heads for New England

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:07 PM GMT on September 03, 2010

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Hurricane Earl sideswiped North Carolina's Outer Banks early this morning, passing just 75 miles east of Cape Hatteras. Special weather statements indicate that the only road out of the barrier island chain, Highway 12, is closed. Pounding waves over 15 feet high, on top of a storm surge of 2 - 3 feet, pushed water over the highway in multiple locations. Earl's winds also piled up huge waves offshore--waves peaked at 28 feet at the Diamond Shoals buoy, and at 31 feet at a buoy 150 nm offshore of Cape Hatteras. Peak wind gusts from Earl were 74 mph at 12:30am at Oregon Inlet, and 70 mph at Nags Head and Manteo. Sustained winds of 47 mph were recorded at Oregon Inlet, but sustained winds at Cape Hatteras never reached tropical storm force--top winds there were just 36 mph, with gusts to 62 mph. Radar estimated rainfall (Figure 2) for Earl from the Cape Hatteras, North Carolina radar shows that 3 - 4 inches of rain fell across much of the Outer Banks. Overall, aside from some significant beach erosion, Earl spared North Carolina.


Figure 1. MODIS image of Earl taken at 11:29am EDT September 2, 2010, by NASA's Terra satellite. At the time, Earl was a Category 3 hurricane with top winds of 125 mph. The storm had a somewhat lopsided shape, due to wind shear from the southwest affecting the storm. Image credit: NASA.

Earl is now headed to the north-northeast at 18 mph. Conditions will steadily improve today over North Carolina, but deteriorate over New England. Earl's outer rain bands have now reached New York's Long Island, as seen on long range Dover radar. Satellite imagery shows that Earl is no longer the impressive hurricane it once was. The eye is no longer visible, and the hurricane appears lopsided, due upper level winds out of the southwest that are creating a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear. The latest 10:02am EDT eye report from the Hurricane Hunters showed that Earl continues to weaken, with a central pressure up to 961 mb. Top surface winds measured via their SFMR instrument were just 76 mph--barely Category 1 strength.


Figure 2. Radar estimated rainfall for Earl from the Cape Hatteras, North Carolina radar shows that 3 - 4 inches of rain fell across much of the Outer Banks.

Forecast for Earl
The latest set of model runs from 2am EDT (6Z) this morning show little change to Earl's track. Earl is expected to pass 20 - 50 miles southeast of Nantucket and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, at about 2am Saturday. The latest SHIPS model forecast of wind shear also shows no surprises. Wind shear will remain moderate, 10 - 20 knots today, then increase to the high range, 20 - 30 knots, on Saturday. Ocean temperatures will plunge to 20°C early Saturday morning, resulting in considerable weakening. Earl will still probably be a weak Category 1 hurricane early Saturday morning, when it will make its closest approach to New England. Earl is more likely to be a strong tropical storm early Saturday afternoon, when it is expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, Canada.


Figure 3. Wind field analysis of Hurricane Earl from 9:30am EDT Friday, September 3, 2010. Note the 15 mph asymmetry in Earl's wind field, caused by the storm's forward motion of 18 mph to the north-northeast at the time. The highest contour had top winds of 75 kt (87 mph) surrounding the "+" on the east side of Earl--the strong right front quadrant of the storm. However, winds on the left (west) side were just 65 knots (74 mph.) The asymmetry was greater--about 20 mph--at 6:30 am EDT this morning. Image credit: NOAA/AOML/Hurricane Research Division.

Impact of Earl on New England
The latest track forecasts still keep Earl's eye barely offshore of New England, with the center passing 20 - 60 miles southeast of Nantucket and the extreme eastern tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The 11am NHC intensity forecast calls for Earl to have top winds of 75 mph at 2am Saturday, when the storm is expected to be at its closest to Massachusetts. Earl will be moving northeastward near 25 mph at that time, meaning that we will see a large difference in the winds between the weak and strong sides of this fast-moving hurricane. This difference is likely to be about 15 - 20 mph, based on the wind distribution around Earl's eye seen so far this morning. Winds analyzed on the experimental H*Wind product put out by NOAA's Hurricane Research Division at 9:30am this morning (Figure 3) showed that the winds on the weak left side of the storm were about 15 mph less than the winds in the powerful right front quadrant. Assuming Earl maintains this structure for the next day, we can expect the hurricane will have top winds of 75 mph on its strong southeast side over water when it whips by Southeast Massachusetts early Saturday morning, and winds of 55 - 60 mph in its northwest eyewall, closest to Massachusetts. If Cape Cod and Nantucket barely miss Earl's northwest eyewall, as currently forecast, top winds in those locations might only reach 45 - 50 mph. The latest NHC wind probability forecast from 11am this morning gives Nantucket a 12% chance of receiving sustained hurricane force winds of 74+ mph, and Hyannis on Cape Cod a 3% chance.

The highest storm surge from Earl is likely to be on the south side of Cape Cod Bay, due to the northeast winds that will be piling up water in the bay. NHC is giving a 10% chance that a storm surge of 3 - 5 feet will occur in Cape Cod Bay, but it is more likely that the surge will be 2 - 3 feet. The extreme western portion of Long Island Sound at New York City could see a storm surge bringing water levels 1 - 2 feet above ground level.


Figure 4. NHC is giving a 10% chance that the storm surge will reach heights of 3 - 5 feet in southern Cape Cod Bay. Image credit: National Hurricane Center.

Impact of Earl on Canada
Winds will begin to rise on the southwest coast of Nova Scotia late Friday night and early Saturday morning. By late morning Saturday, Earl is expected to make landfall somewhere between the Maine/New Brunswick border and central Nova Scotia. At that time, Earl will probably be a strong tropical storm with 55 - 60 mph winds. Earl will be moving at a very rapid 25 - 30 mph when it arrives in Canada, and regions on the right side of the eye can expect winds 15 - 20 mph greater than on the left side, due to the fast forward motion of the hurricane. Earl's impact is likely to be less than 2008's Hurricane Kyle, the last hurricane to hit Nova Scotia. Kyle hit near Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Kyle produced a storm surge of 2.6 feet, and did $9 million in damage to Canada. The 11am EDT NHC wind probability forecast is calling for a 15% chance of hurricane-force winds in Yarmouth, and 3% in Halifax.

Fiona
There is not much to Tropical Storm Fiona, which satellite loops show to be a naked swirl of low clouds with just one diminishing spot of heavy thunderstorms on the southwest side of the circulation. High wind shear from Earl should continue to affect Fiona over the next two days, and be able to destroy the storm by Saturday.


Figure 5. Morning satellite image of Gaston's remains (left) and the latest tropical wave to move off of Africa (right).

Gaston may regenerate
Tropical storm Gaston lost its battle with dry air yesterday, degenerating into a disorganized low pressure area. Recent satellite imagery shows that Gaston's remains have developed a broad surface circulation again, and a few heavy thunderstorms have begun to appear. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts shear will remain low to moderate, 5 - 15 knots, for the next five days, so it is possible Gaston could regenerate. The large amount of dry air surrounding Gaston's remains seen on water vapor satellite loops will continue to be a major impediment to development. NHC is giving Gaston a 40% chance of regenerating into a tropical depression by Sunday. I'd put these odds a little higher, at 60%. The GFS model develops Gaston and predicts it will move though the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday. The NOGAPS and Canadian models also indicate Gaston will re-develop, but move the storm slower and show it near the northern Lesser Antilles seven days from now.

New tropical wave
A large tropical off the coast of Africa is moving westward at about 10 mph, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression next week. NHC is giving the wave a 10% chance of developing by Sunday afternoon. Wind shear is currently too high, 20 - 30 knots, for the wave to develop. However, once the wave reaches a point a few hundred miles from the Cape Verdes Islands two days from now, wind shear will drop and development will be more likely.

Next post
I'll have an update late this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

Earl meets Surf City Pier (travelingangel2003)
First of pics ( I have taken 400 today) going to go back tonight.
Earl meets Surf City Pier
Hurricane Earl's Swells Reach The Rhode Island Coast@ Newport # 11 (RIWXPhoto)
Hurricane Earl's Swells Reach The Rhode Island Coast@ Newport # 11

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Quoting Floodman:


No, that would be puff...LOL
Hence, your avatar? LOL
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We are on lower Cape Cod. Have had a few bands of heavy rain, no wind and very humid. Things may change overnight!
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Quoting IKE:


I quoted you and tried to post but it threw the blog off somehow. If I caused it, I'm sorry.
I don't know what happened but I am sure it wasn't anything that you or I did purposely.
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Quoting IKE:


I quoted you and tried to post but it threw the blog off somehow. If I caused it, I'm sorry.
Ike is Doom.
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


was it just me or was the blog just hack???

i thought that was a t# that everyone always talks about but instead it was an earth quake??? in new zeland???
That's what I was trying to explain to you in my comment that was removed but something went wrong with the post.
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341. IKE
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Sorry about that earlier post. I don't know what happened there.


I quoted you and tried to post but it threw the blog off somehow. If I caused it, I'm sorry.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting raggpr:

that is an earthquake


was it just me or was the blog just hack???

i thought that was a t# that everyone always talks about but instead it was an earth quake??? in new zeland???
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Sorry about that earlier post. I don't know what happened there.
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


that is a strong invest isnt it
41 miles deep, but only 4 miles from Christchurch. Hopefully no major damage or loss of life.
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Quoting Minnemike:
lol, word... (nothing religious to it)
"My word is my bond" goes back to the Biblical admonition not to need to swear an oath "but let your yea be yea and your nay be nay" Matt. 5:34+5 KJV

Dig deep enough and just about every English expression goes back to Shakespeare either his original work or translation of Christian scripture.
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Quoting btwntx08:

no prob he think he wont get a gom storm i believe we will this month and he'll be surpised

I agree with you guys the GOM has been too quiet, I wonder if there has ever been a yr. when there wasn't a storm in the GOM, though?
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Not that STORM has the final say all when it comes to storms and forecasting....but earlier, he posted that a "north" turn with Gaston was " Not gonna happen"....I feel confident that he has looked at the current conditions that we have right now and has made that assumption off of facts...JMO
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Quoting kmanislander:


18 N 65 W as a TS or CAT 1 . If that happens then another major hurricane a virtual certainty.

Those coordinates are obviously long range given current speed and location so they could be way off but I think they are certainly on the cards as a possibility.

Thanks.
I agree with that as well.
Seems to be entangled in the ITCZ for a couple of days. Loads of moisture there, south of the system too.
Could mean a lot of rain...
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333. IKE
Quoting BaltOCane:

No he's just playing the jilted lover, like he has been since IKE ignored him... ask him, he'll tell you AAAALLLLLLLL about it.



***Takes a shot***


Quoting stormwatcherCI:
He is not saying from his point of view there is nothing in the GOM through 9/19. He is saying it from the point of view from what the models are showing.


And I've said I thought there would be at least one this month in the GOM...maybe more.

But...I'm not going to act all fired up if it shows 2-3 of them slamming into the northern GOM. If it shows the opposite I will...because the GOM has taken enough lately. The entire GOM deserves a break from weather and oil rig explosions and ruined lives on account of it or death.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Maybe a new aoi forming closer to home near fl in the next 72hrs,maybe over bahamas...,
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


that is a strong invest isnt it

that is an earthquake
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Quoting Minnemike:
POOF... as in, hey jerry, want another? :)


No, that would be puff...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922



Looks like Fiona is about to slap me with her very long tail. I hear thunder rumbling to the east.

CRS
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Quoting FloridaHeat:


that is a strong invest isnt it

That's an Earthquake.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
03-SEP-2010 16:35:44 -43.33 172.44 7.2 16.1 SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND


that is a strong invest isnt it
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Looks like Earl is still forecast to go right up the bay of fundy %u2014 where they have the world's largest tide changes (some places up to 55').

Bay of Fundy: Canda's New7Wonders of Nature Finalist

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Quoting Floodman:
Man, there's a lot of "Power Poofing" going on in here this morning...not complaining, just sayin'...

The three levels of the **POOF**

Stealth Poof: you think to yourself "This guy's an idiot...adios"
Overt Poof: quote a comment and then **poof**
Power Poof: quote a comment and say "You're a no good so and so and if I could...nah, you're not worth it **POOF!**

Just so you know
POOF... as in, hey jerry, want another? :)
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Quoting JBirdFireMedic:


I prefer the stealth technique myself.
No need to aggravate everyone in the room by quoting idiots.


Exactly, that's why I use the "stealth poof" as well, but it looks like there are too many big egos today to not respond back.
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Quoting SSideBrac:
I am with Kmanislander regarding what was GASTON - as the system moves West along lower latitudes than its preceding cousins, I am concerned that entry into the Caribbean Basin may see development of a significant threat to W Car and GOM.
Certainly hope not.

SST's just east of the Islands are currently 85-86 degrees F.
Plenty of heat there to thrive on.
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319. NJ2S
Quoting IKE:


Turns it north.


the 00z has it turn north swipe eatern lon island then head back west directly over NYC....tell me thats close to impossible please
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03-SEP-2010 16:35:44 -43.33 172.44 7.2 16.1 SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

A strong earthquake hit near New Zealand,second-largest city, Christchurch, early Saturday. Radio New Zealand described the quake as severe, and reported that power was out across the city and that several roadways were damaged.

No casualties were immediately reported, but some residents posted Twitter alerts reporting damage and large aftershocks. The government said the earthquake was a big one and that it would decide soon whether to activate its national disaster procedures.

Link
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Quoting btwntx08:

no prob he think he wont get a gom storm i believe we will this month and he'll be surpised
He is not saying from his point of view there is nothing in the GOM through 9/19. He is saying it from the point of view from what the models are showing.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I don't say POOF, I just tell them to FOCUS, the POOF is a given :)


There's one I missed: the implied poof
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting pottery:

Hi Kman.
Your take on Gaston?


18 N 65 W as a TS or CAT 1 . If that happens then another major hurricane a virtual certainty.

Those coordinates are obviously long range given current speed and location so they could be way off but I think they are certainly on the cards as a possibility.
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Quoting barbados246:
I'll do a rain dance for you.

OK, but just a little one, Thanks!
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Quoting tkeith:
I'm sticking with "right on brotha"...


I think that was implied in the definition Keith. LOL
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Ex-Gaston showing some signs of life in the Tropical Atlantic. May be able to do more once it gets past 45W and where the waters get up to 29C.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30823
Quoting Floodman:
Man, there's a lot of "Power Poofing" going on in here this morning...not complaining, just sayin'...

The three levels of the **POOF**

Stealth Poof: you think to yourself "This guy's an idiot...adios"
Overt Poof: quote a comment and then **poof**
Power Poof: quote a comment and say "You're a no good so and so and if I could...nah, you're not worth it **POOF!**

Just so you know


I prefer the stealth technique myself.
No need to aggravate everyone in the room by quoting idiots.
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Quoting Floodman:


For self satisfaction the stealth is the way to go...



Please keep it "G" Rated lol
Member Since: June 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 117
Gotta chuckle at not even TS winds on Hatteras after NHC %'s in upper 90's(want to say 99?). Here there is a broken limb that has been caught on healthy ones for a few weeks now, dangling there. The winds last night weren't even enough to jar it loose.....
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Who thinks Gaston is coming back?
Member Since: April 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 136
HurricaneEarl's heading had turned eastward to 11.3degrees east of NorthNorthEast
from its previous heading of 2.7degrees north of NorthNorthEast
H.Earl's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions was 16.7mph(~26.8km/h)

02Sep . 03pmGMT - - 30.9n74.8w - - 140mph - - 932mb - - NHC.Adv.#33
02Sep . 06pmGMT - - 31.7n75.2w - - 125mph - - 943mb - - #33A
02Sep . 09pmGMT - - 32.5n75.2w - - 115mph - - 947mb - - #34
03Sep . 12amGMT - - 33.0n74.7w - - 110mph - - 948mb - - #34A
03Sep . 03amGMT - - 33.8n74.4w - - 105mph - - 951mb - - #35
03Sep . 06amGMT - - 34.6n74.3w - - 105mph - - 955mb - - #35A
03Sep . 09amGMT - - 35.3n74.0w - - 105mph - - 955mb - - #36
03Sep . 12pmGMT - - 36.2n73.6w - - 105mph - - 955mb - - #36A
03Sep . 03pmGMT - - 36.8n73.1w - - - 85mph - - 961mb - - #37

Copy&paste 30.9n74.8w, 31.7n75.2w, 32.5n75.2w, 33.0n74.7w, 33.8n74.4w-34.6n74.3w, 34.6n74.3w-35.3n74.0w, 35.3n74.0w-36.2n73.6w, 36.2n73.6w-36.8n73.1w, yqb, 36.8n73.1w-44.07n66.2w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~35hours from now to Yarmouth,NovaScotia
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Hmmmm, I wonder where this feature being developed by the 12z GFS in the BOC comes from?

I examined the 850mb vorticity graph on the GFS closely and it seems to me like 95E currently located in the Gulf of Tehuantepec crawls northward, ends up in the BOC, and develops into a tropical cyclone before moving inland over Mexico.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
302. 900MB
Quoting PensacolaDoug:


I got friends in Sag Harbor!


Heading bck to the beach in a bit, will try to send along some shots. Willing to bet East End of LI got the biggest waves from the system.
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Quoting geepy86:


For self satisfaction the stealth is the way to go...

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
I am with Kmanislander regarding what was GASTON - as the system moves West along lower latitudes than its preceding cousins, I am concerned that entry into the Caribbean Basin may see development of a significant threat to W Car and GOM.
Certainly hope not.
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Quoting SQUAWK:


Well, there you go. A definitive definition! Thanks Flood. I didn't know about the Urban Dictionary either. I will keep that for future reference, thanks again.
I'm sticking with "right on brotha"...
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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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