Hurricane Earl continues towards the west-northwest at 13 mph, with little change in strength. There is a 30% chance that persistent moderate wind shear may be able to drive dry air deep enough into Earl's west side to significantly disrupt the storm, but it is more likely that Earl will be a Category 3 hurricane when it makes its closest approach to Cap Hatteras, North Carolina early Friday morning. Earl will probably bring a 12 hour period of 40 - 50 mph winds to the Cape Hatteras region, and a six-hour period of 35 - 45 mph winds to Southeast Massachusetts on Friday night.
JeffMasters, • 9:44 PM GMT on August 31, 2010
Powerful Category 4 Hurricane Earl is pulling away from Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, and is eyeing its next potential landfall--North Carolina's Outer Banks. It appears the Caribbean avoided major damage from Earl, with the possible exception of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands, where 100 mph winds likely occurred. The latest set of computer models runs push Earl's projected track a little closer to the U.S. East Coast. Most of the models keep Earl 100 - 200 miles off the U.S. coast, but one model predicts Earl will make landfall on North Carolina Thursday night as a major hurricane.
JeffMasters, • 3:16 PM GMT on August 31, 2010
Powerful Category 4 Hurricane Earl continues to lash Puerto Rico and the northern Lesser Antilles Islands with heavy rain and high winds this afternoon. Hardest hit was Anegada in the British Virgin Islands, population 200. The eye of Earl passed just north of Anegada at noon EDT, and the island probably saw sustained winds of 100 mph in the south eyewall of Earl. The latest set of computer models runs from 8am EDT (12Z) this morning push Earl's projected track a little closer to the U.S. East Coast, but still keep hurricane force winds offshore. Several models now predict Earl will being tropical storm force winds of 39+ mph to North Carolina's Outer Banks, beginning on Thursday evening.
JeffMasters, • 9:01 PM GMT on August 30, 2010
An intensifying Hurricane Earl is pounding Puerto Rico and the islands of the northern Lesser Antilles with heavy rain and high winds this morning. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft currently in Earl just found a central pressure of 960 mb at 9:42 am EDT, a significant drop of 25 mb in 25 hours. The eye of Earl is on track to pass just to the northeast of the islands of Anguilla, St. Maarten, and The Settlement in the British Virgin Islands today. The periphery of Earl's southern eyewall will probably bring Category 1 hurricane conditions to some of these islands today. Once Earl passes the Lesser Antilles, steering currents favor a northwesterly course towards North Carolina. History suggests that a storm in Earl's current location has a 25% chance of making landfall on the U.S. East Coast, and Earl's chances of making a U.S. landfall are probably close to that. None of the computer models show Earl hitting the U.S., but the storm will likely come uncomfortably close to North Carolina's Outer Banks and to Cape Cod and Nantucket in Massachusetts. The latest set of model runs project Earl will miss North Carolina by 200 - 300 miles on Thursday, and Massachusetts by a similar distance on Friday. Keep in mind that the average error in a 4 - 5 day NHC forecast is 200 - 300 miles, so the East Coast cannot breathe easily yet. The Outer Banks of North Carolina and Cape Cod, Massachusetts are both at the edge of the cone of uncertainty.
JeffMasters, • 2:40 PM GMT on August 30, 2010
Earl continues to intensify steadily, though not explosively. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft found a central pressure of 972 mb at 7:38 pm EDT. This is a significant drop of 13 mb in ten hours. As is usually the case, it takes six or so hours for a hurricane's winds to respond to a major pressure change, and Earl's winds are now beginning to ramp up. Latest radar animations out of Martinique and St. Maarten show that the eye of Earl is on track to pass just to the northeast of the islands of Barbuda, St. Barthelemy, Anguilla, and St. Maartin in the northernmost Lesser Antilles Islands tonight and Monday morning. Since the eye is so wide, it appears that portions of the southern eyewall will pass over these islands. The southern eyewall is where the NOAA aircraft just measured 88 mph winds, so Barbuda could well see sustained winds of 90 mph for a period of up to two hours, since the storm is moving near 14 mph and has a 35-mile wide eye. Since Earl will probably start intensifying rapidly in the next few hours, Anguilla, the last island in the path of Earl's southern eyewall, could see sustained winds near 95 - 105 mph between 7am - 9am AST.
JeffMasters, • 1:16 AM GMT on August 30, 2010
Hurricane warnings are flying for the islands in the northern Lesser Antilles, as they hunker down a prepare for the arrival of the 3rd hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, Hurricane Earl. Earl is a potentially dangerous storm for the islands in its path, should its eyewall pass directly overhead. Earl could intensify significantly as it moves through the islands late tonight and on Monday. Earl should move more to the west-northwest today, likely bringing the core of the storm over or just to the northeast of the islands of Barbuda, St. Barthelemy, Anguilla, and St. Maartin in the northernmost Lesser Antilles Islands tonight and Monday morning. Once Earl passes the Lesser Antilles, steering currents favor a northwesterly course towards North Carolina. History suggests that a storm in Earl's current location has a 25% chance of making landfall on the U.S. East Coast, and those are probably Earl's chances in this case as well. It is possible, though, that Earl could make a direct hit on North Carolina as a major hurricane on Thursday or Friday. One should pay attention of the cone of uncertainty, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina are in the 5-day cone.
JeffMasters, • 2:35 PM GMT on August 29, 2010
Tropical Storm Earl continues westward with little change in intensity. The storm could bring tropical storm force winds and heavy rain to the northern Lesser Antilles on Sunday. Once Earl passes the Lesser Antilles, steering currents favor a northwesterly course towards North Carolina. History suggests that a storm in Earl's current location has a 30% chance of making landfall on the U.S. East Coast. Earl's chances of making a U.S. landfall are probably more like 20%, due to the steering influence of a strong trough of low pressure predicted to move off the U.S. East Coast next Friday. The most likely landfall locations would be North Carolina on Thursday, or Massachusetts on Friday.Elsewhere in the Atlantic, Hurricane Danielle is passing well to the east of Bermuda, and is headed out to sea. A new tropical wave off the coast of Africa continue to grow more organized, and could affect the northern Lesser Antilles as Tropical Storm or Hurricane Fiona on Wednesday or Thursday.
JeffMasters, • 3:40 PM GMT on August 28, 2010
The Atlantic's first major hurricane of 2010, Hurricane Danielle, has arrived. Danielle became a low-end Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds this morning. The hurricane is expected to recurve out to sea, and is not a threat to any land areas.Tropical Storm Earl is growing more organized in the Central Atlantic, and may threaten the northern Lesser Antilles Islands as a hurricane 4 - 5 days from now. A new tropical wave off the coast of Africa is growing more organized, and could be a tropical depression 2 - 3 days from now.The Northwest Passage--the legendary shipping route through ice-choked Canadian waters at the top of the world--melted free of ice last week, and is now ice-free and open for navigation. This summer marks the fourth consecutive year--and fourth time in recorded history--that the fabled passage has opened for navigation. The Northeast Passage, the shipping route along the north coast of Russia through the Arctic Ocean, also melted free this week. It is now possible to completely circumnavigate the Arctic Ocean in ice-free waters, for the third consecutive year--and the third time in recorded history.
JeffMasters, • 3:20 PM GMT on August 27, 2010
Hurricane Danielle is continuing northwest towards Bermuda, as a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds. Low wind shear and warm SSTs should allow Danielle to intensify through Saturday. Danielle will make its closest approach to Bermuda on Saturday night and Sunday morning, and there is a 25% chance the island will get winds of tropical storm force.Tropical Storm Earl is organizing over the Eastern Atlantic, and is expected to follow a path very similar to Danielle's. Earl is expected to turn to the northwest and miss the Lesser Antilles Islands, and may follow Danielle's path towards Bermuda.
JeffMasters, • 3:20 PM GMT on August 26, 2010
Hurricane Danielle has changed little in organization over the past 12 hours, and is having trouble with wind shear. Wind shear will relax on Friday and Saturday, and Danielle could intensify into a major Category 3 hurricane by this weekend, when it will make a close pass by Bermuda. Tropical Depression Seven has formed off the coast of Africa this morning, and appears poised to become Tropical Storm Earl later today, and Hurricane Earl late this week. It is too early to tell if this storm will be a threat to any land areas.
JeffMasters, • 3:15 PM GMT on August 25, 2010
Hurricane Danielle has stopped intensifying and is now looking a bit ragged this morning, but remains a respectable Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds. A powerful trough of low pressure over the mid-Atlantic Ocean will begin to pull Danielle more to the northwest by Wednesday, keeping Danielle well to the east of Bermuda. Most of the models predict that this trough will be strong enough to fully recurve Danielle out to sea. It is possible that Danielle could eventually threaten Newfoundland, Canada, but it currently does not appear that any other land areas will be at risk from this storm. History suggests that a storm in Danielle's current location has only a 20% chance of making landfall on the U.S. East Coast.Satellite images suggests that a tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa yesterday morning has developed a closed circulation, low-level spiral bands, and an increasing amount of heavy thunderstorms. It is likely that this storm will be designated Tropical Depression Seven later today. The storm is being steering by the same ridge of high pressure steering Danielle, and will initially follow a track similar to Danielle.
JeffMasters, • 2:18 PM GMT on August 24, 2010
JeffMasters, • 2:23 PM GMT on August 23, 2010
Tropical Storm Tropical Depression Six is here, but will not be a threat to land for at least the next five days. A powerful trough of low pressure over the mid-Atlantic Ocean will begin to pull Tropical Depression Six more to the northwest late this week, and the storm should pass well to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands. It remains to be seen, however, it this trough will be strong enough to fully recurve Tropical Depression Six out to sea. The GFS predicts that Tropical Depression Six may pass close to Bermuda about eight days from now, and it is also possible that Tropical Depression Six could eventually hit the U.S. East Coast 9 - 14 days from now.
JeffMasters, • 5:14 PM GMT on August 22, 2010
A tropical wave in the far eastern Atlantic about 350 miles southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands has become more organized this morning, and has a 50% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Monday. If the storm stays weak or does not develop in the next five days, as predicted by the NOGAPS model, it has a chance of eventually threatening Bermuda. If the storm develops into a hurricane, as predicted by most of the computer models, it will probably recurve to the east of Bermuda and not threaten any land areas.In Pakistan, a pulse of flood waters from heavy monsoon rains that fell 2 - 3 weeks ago is headed southwards towards the coast, and flood heights have risen to near all-time record levels today at the Indus River gauge station nearest to the coast. The new flooding has forced the evacuation of an additional 150,000 people in Pakistan today.
JeffMasters, • 2:23 PM GMT on August 21, 2010
A tropical wave in the far eastern Atlantic about 300 miles southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands is growing more organized, and will probably develop into a tropical depression by Monday. A series of two powerful troughs of low pressure are predicted to move off the U.S. East Coast next week and cross the Atlantic; these troughs should be able to pull 95L far enough to the northwest so that it will miss the Lesser Antilles Islands. The long-term steering current forecast from the GFS model indicates an above-average chance of recurvature of storms approaching the U.S. East Coast through the end of August, followed by a near-average chance of recurvature for the first week of September.In Pakistan, a pulse of flood waters from this month's heavy monsoon rains has moved down the Indus River and is now generating near-record flooding near the coast. Flooding is slowly subsiding elsewhere in Pakistan, and the monsoon is entering a quiet period with little rain expected the next 3 - 4 days.
JeffMasters, • 3:35 PM GMT on August 20, 2010
The tropical Atlantic is quiet. There is an area of disturbed weather off the coast of Africa that the computer models predict will develop into a tropical storm 3 - 6 days from now, but preliminary indications are that any such storm would track to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands. The Great Russian Heat wave of 2010 ended today, as a strong cold front swept though Russia. Moscow has had above-average high temperatures for 62 consecutive days, but this streak is likely to end on Friday.
JeffMasters, • 2:09 PM GMT on August 19, 2010
The tropical Atlantic is quiet today, but the computer models continue to predict that a tropical storm will form between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands 3 - 7 days from now. A strong tropical wave currently moving off the coast of Africa is a good candidate for such a development. In Moscow, temperatures hit 34°C (93°F) today, in what promises to be the last day of the Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010. Heavy monsoon rains of up to 4.45" (113 mm) hit Pakistan yesterday, and extreme flooding on the Indus River has swollen the river to 16 miles (24 km) in diameter.
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