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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847. ncforecaster
7:56 AM GMT on September 05, 2010
Quoting IKE:


And it was only 75 miles east of Cape Hatteras.

Just goes to show if you can get at least 100 miles from the center(preferably west of), you'll be okay.

I went about 100 miles east of where Opal made landfall and the winds were 30-40 mph.
I can run far enough away from a hurricane.


I realize that you were basing this comment on the inaccurate information posted by the blogs author, but it is no less incorrect.

Many locations along the Eastern-most Outer banks did receive TS sustained winds with wind gusts in the 80-90 mph range. You can visit the Morehead City/Newport NC NWS page to find some of these reports of the peak winds I am referring to.
Member Since: May 17, 2006 Posts: 108 Comments: 1374
845. Halyn
3:31 AM GMT on September 04, 2010
kuppenskup:



*Poof*
Member Since: August 7, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 98
844. MiamiHurricanes09
2:07 AM GMT on September 04, 2010
Hello?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
843. hurrizone
1:30 AM GMT on September 04, 2010
Base on satellite images,seems like Gaston is re-generating.Some forecast models indicates that Gaston will enter Caribbean area next week like a hurricane.People in the Eastern Caribbean and Puerto Rico need to follow the progress of this one closely.
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 27
842. flsky
10:56 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
I hate to belabor this, but can't "they" fix this jumping-around of the satellite images? Why is this happening? Are we lacking a satellite, or what? I guess it's a minor point, but it makes observing these images difficult thru most of the day.
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2089
841. FLGatorCaneNut
9:33 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Hey Gamma,

Wilma was the Last Hurricane to Hit South Florida

5 Years ago.

On Average a Hurricane Strikes South Florida ever 4 years.

We are Over Due.


That was a backdoor S.E. Florida hurricane.... I beleive we are WAY past due for a major cane coming out the the east. The last was Andrew, 18 years ago...
Member Since: July 26, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 198
840. Brennen
9:20 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
If you need help pronouncing Gaston may I recommend watching this video. I also recommend coming up with replacement lyrics to sing along with extolling the virtues of this named system if it regenerates.

Link
Member Since: August 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
839. canehater1
9:19 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Here are the pronunciation for the next 2 named storms.

Hermine: her-MEEN
Igor: e-GOR

Hopefully this helps.


Hermine ---not too keen
Igor--------A total bore

Hey, at least I didn't use the "F" word!
Member Since: September 8, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1085
838. CyclonicVoyage
9:16 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting ecflweatherfan:


Just an update to this earlier post I made... Record High temperature set at Melbourne, Florida today (through 4pm)... the high temperature was 97 degrees! Breaks the 1999 record. At least the humidity was not too bad today as the dewpoint was down to 64 today (Thanks Earl!!!)



Actually, I was watching the news yesterday in West Palm and the locals stated this has been the hottest summer on record for South East Florida. Not necessarily the daytime highs but the nighttime lows.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
837. notabubba
9:12 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting CapeObserver:


Unless you're a Harry Potter fan then it's Her - MY - nee.

And if you're a Mel Brooks fan, the other name is "Eye-gore" ;o)
Member Since: August 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 27
835. NCWatch
9:12 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Is that really kuppenskup?
Member Since: May 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 46
834. StormJunkie
9:12 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
New blog....And I didn't even realize there was a new blog when I posted in it...lmao

1st post is for you DL :)
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
833. seflagamma
9:11 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Hey Gamma,

Wilma was the Last Hurricane to Hit South Florida

5 Years ago.

On Average a Hurricane Strikes South Florida ever 4 years.

We are Over Due.


I know that is scary stuff! Don't want to hear it! During 2004/2005 the state got hit like 8 times! LOL We had our "fair share" for awhile... jmo!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 40944
832. CaribBoy
9:11 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
I think tonight may be interesting with Gaston.
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6453
831. geepy86
9:10 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
NEW BLOG
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1704
830. seflagamma
9:10 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting all4hurricanes:

Is ex Gaston a TD again?


not that I know of...

but they all think it will come back again..
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 40944
829. katadman
9:09 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
How pleasant is this? Enjoying a civil conversation with some of the better bloggers on WU, the coolest weather we've had in San Antonio since early May and listening to the Beatles.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1081
828. sammywammybamy
9:09 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting seflagamma:


for real? how cool is that... a possible storm named after you.

back in 2005, we had a TS Gamma and I was so afraid it was going to turn into a horrible hurricane like they all seemed to do that year! and my grandchildren would be so confused!


Hey Gamma,

Wilma was the Last Hurricane to Hit South Florida

5 Years ago.

On Average a Hurricane Strikes South Florida ever 4 years.

We are Over Due.
Member Since: June 17, 2006 Posts: 44 Comments: 5010
827. BLee2333
9:09 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Your thoughts on this:

A 2010 report correlates low sunspot activity with high cyclonic activity. Fewer sunspots appear to decrease temperature in the upper atmosphere, creating unstable conditions that help create cyclones. Analyzing historical data, there had been a 25% chance of at least one hurricane striking the continental US during a peak sunspot year; a 64% chance during a low sunspot year.

I believe the lull in TCs we had earlier this season correlated with the two solar storms we experienced. I would have to check the dates, but interesting none the less...
Member Since: January 6, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 217
826. Floodman
9:09 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting StormJunkie:


If we can just make it another couple months then we are good to go!


Hey, man, what's up?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
825. unruly
9:08 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting gordydunnot:
What's with the pronunciation lesson we are all typing here you'll.
i believe thats pronounced y'all

hehe srry couldn't help it
Member Since: October 10, 2009 Posts: 27 Comments: 4456
824. CatastrophicDL
9:08 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting Floodman:


Me? I hadn't thought so, but you're the second person to make mention of something like that...I must be, huh?

How does that work? One in three of you is a smart ass...look to your left and right...if it isn't them, it's likely you!


Funny. Good to see you! You keeping busy?
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
823. Floodman
9:08 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting CatastrophicDL:
Stormjunkie, Flood, Atmo and others... Good to see every one. I've been lurking instead of posting this season and wanted to say "hi". But things are going to be interesting the next few weeks, huh?


It would look taht way, ma'am...LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
822. kuppenskup
9:07 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting myway:


Some people just cant help themselves. Problem is that all floridians wind up taking the hit for a few that like to read their own postings.


No the problem is there are just a lot of people on the site who like to judge others and think their you know what dont stink. I just asked one question because with all the models I didnt know if there were any taking Gaston here. But what do I get? I get Sarcastic people who like to judge. Go ahead and judge, Go ahead and think you know it all. Youre the one who likes to read your own postings. If you dont have an answer to a question keep it to yourself and let people who know answer.
Member Since: August 26, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 423
821. StormJunkie
9:07 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting myway:


Some people just cant help themselves. Problem is that all floridians wind up taking the hit for a few that like to read their own postings.


Damn Floridians and there hype-casting, only hang around when a storm is headed their way, attitudes...

I'm just kidding myway ;) This was a topic of conversation last night...Many friends in Fla, and many on here who are from Fla...good peeps!
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
820. seflagamma
9:07 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting washingtonian115:
My friends last name is Gaston,and we pronounce it like we see it.She doesn't mind.


for real? how cool is that... a possible storm named after you.

back in 2005, we had a TS Gamma and I was so afraid it was going to turn into a horrible hurricane like they all seemed to do that year! and my grandchildren would be so confused!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 40944
819. Floodman
9:06 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Unintentional double post...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
818. Floodman
9:06 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting CatastrophicDL:
Flood are you being a trouble maker today?


Me? I hadn't thought so, but you're the second person to make mention of something like that...I must be, huh?

How does that work? One in three of you is a smart ass...look to your left and right...if it isn't them, it's likely you!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
816. TexasHurricane
9:06 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Gaston...

Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
815. CatastrophicDL
9:05 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Stormjunkie, Flood, Atmo and others... Good to see every one. I've been lurking instead of posting this season and wanted to say "hi". But things are going to be interesting the next few weeks, huh?
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
814. all4hurricanes
9:04 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting seflagamma:
803, just teasing... from earlier conversations...

it is really too early to tell; they do not even have X-Gaston up again as a storm.

Is ex Gaston a TD again?
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2375
812. gordydunnot
9:04 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
What's with the pronunciation lesson we are all typing here you'll.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
811. washingtonian115
9:04 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
My friends last name is Gaston,and we pronounce it like we see it.She doesn't mind.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17616
810. ecflweatherfan
9:03 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting kuppenskup:


I dont know what that means, this is the first website Ive gone to in over a week but if Im missing something please let me know. I was just asking if Gaston was going to be a threat to South Florida or is it too early to say?


It is still too early to say, but legitimate question nonetheless. Probably about 4 or 5 days from the Lesser Antilles... so reasonably a solid 8-10 days from any U.S., if any
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
809. seflagamma
9:03 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
803, just teasing... from earlier conversations...

it is really too early to tell; they do not even have X-Gaston up again as a storm.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 40944
808. Orcasystems
9:03 PM GMT on September 03, 2010


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI


TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26512
807. StormJunkie
9:03 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting seflagamma:


Hi SJ!

Good to see you and your handsome little boy!

things are peaceful right now here.

will wonders never cease!


If we can just make it another couple months then we are good to go!
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
806. myway
9:02 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting seflagamma:


and it begins again!


Some people just cant help themselves. Problem is that all floridians wind up taking the hit for a few that like to read their own postings.
Member Since: May 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 450
805. MiamiHurricanes09
9:02 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting kuppenskup:
What's up with Gaston? Is this looking like a South Florida Storm?
No. There is no way of knowing at this point, but chances are at this point that it enters into the Caribbean. Whether it treks across it or recurves similar to what the GFS shows is all speculation at this point.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
804. seflagamma
9:02 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting StormJunkie:


Afternoon all

Great to see you gamma ;))


Hi SJ!

Good to see you and your handsome little boy!

things are peaceful right now here.

will wonders never cease!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 40944
803. kuppenskup
9:01 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting seflagamma:


and it begins again!


I dont know what that means, this is the first website Ive gone to in over a week but if Im missing something please let me know. I was just asking if Gaston was going to be a threat to South Florida or is it too early to say?
Member Since: August 26, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 423
802. seflagamma
9:01 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
deleting dup.. sorry about that!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 40944
801. ecflweatherfan
9:00 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting ecflweatherfan:


Just a little information, and not saying that it means anything in the longer term... but, On this day in 1999, Melbourne, Florida had a record high temperature of 95 degrees. Less than 2 weeks later, we, in Central Florida, were looking into the eye of Hurricane Floyd as it drew nearer as a monster Category 4 (which caused the largest peacetime evacuation in US history). It turned north and hit NC. Lo and behold, today's high temperature (so far) in Melbourne, Florida has been 95 degrees and we have an entity that was named Gaston located in the same general area as "Floyd" back then. Strange the coincidence. Hmmm???? Just sayin'. Hopefully this is another case where history does not repeat itself.


Just an update to this earlier post I made... Record High temperature set at Melbourne, Florida today (through 4pm)... the high temperature was 97 degrees! Breaks the 1999 record. At least the humidity was not too bad today as the dewpoint was down to 64 today (Thanks Earl!!!)
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
800. StormJunkie
9:00 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting seflagamma:


and it begins again!


Afternoon all

Great to see you gamma ;))
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
799. BreadandCircuses
8:59 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
When a word begins with the letter H in French, the H is almost always silent, for example, heures (hours) is pronounced eur.
Member Since: July 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 451
798. seflagamma
8:59 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting kuppenskup:
What's up with Gaston? Is this looking like a South Florida Storm?


and it begins again!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 301 Comments: 40944
797. katadman
8:59 PM GMT on September 03, 2010
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No, it isn't silent. I got it from the NHC website.


I'm cool with it.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1081

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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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