Category 3 Earl Continues Moving Towards the East Coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:13 AM GMT on September 01, 2010

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Hi, Dr. Rob Carver with your evening blog update. It's a busy night in the tropics with Hurricane Earl and Tropical Storm Fiona in the Atlantic, and 3 named storms in the western Pacific. Tonight, though, we'll focus on Earl.

As of 11PM EDT, Earl is still a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 mph and gusts of 160 mph. From the advisory, Earl is located at 23.0 N, 69.9 W, 910 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC. On average, Earl is currently moving towards the northwest at 14 mph. Remember, large storms are known for having wobbly tracks. Aircraft observations and microwave imagery (Fig. 1) indicate that the eyewall is reforming.


Fig. 1 Estimated rain-rate of Earl taken at 2332Z 31 Aug 2010. Image courtesy of the Naval Research Lab

Earl is passing near buoy 41046 and is generating some large waves as shown by Figure 1.


Fig. 2Plot of wave heights observed at buoy 41046. Data courtesy of the National Data Buoy Center

Earl is a large storm. Hurricane force winds extend 90 miles from the storm center and tropical storm force winds can be found 200 miles away. This means Earl will have an impact on areas well away from the center's track

Track Forecast
NHC has not really altered their track forecast for this update. Thanks to the subtropical high, Earl will continue a slight turn to the right as it moves around the subtropical high. Then when a 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. The current forecast still holds that Earl's center will stay out to sea, and I don't see any reason to disagree. Most of the computer model guidance supports this forecast (except for NOGAPS and NGFDL, and they have Earl only crossing the Outer Banks). It is worth noting that the ECMWF global model (the best global model) does bring Earl close to the Outer Banks. Earl will make his closest approach to the Outer Banks sometime early Friday morning.

Winds Forecast
Earl's size and track will likely produce tropical-storm force winds somewhere along the East Coast this weekend. From the wind probability product issued by NHC, Cape Hatteras has a 63% chance of tropical-storm force winds sometime this weekend. There is a wide swath of 30% chance of TS winds from Virginia north towards Maine. New York City has a 20% chance of TS winds, and Nantucket, MA has a 50% chance.

When Earl hooks on to the trough and starts accelerating to the northeast, it will start transitioning from a tropical system to an extratropical low. This means it will start weakening.

Current Watches
As of 1045PM EDT, a hurricane watch is in effect for the coastal US from Surf City, NC to the NC/VA border. Remember, this means tropical-storm force winds are expected within 48 hours. A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Turks and Caicos islands. A tropical storm watch is also in effect from Cape Fear to Surf City and for the southeastern Bahama islands. For the latest information on watches and warnings for Earl, visit our Tropical Alerts page.

Impacts
It's too early to be specific. That said, the local NWS office in Morehead City, NC thinks that with the combination of tides and winds, a storm surge of 4 feet is possible along the Outer Banks with moderate coastal flooding possible. They also think rip currents are a likely threat at the beaches.

What to do
People living in areas covered by the hurricane watch should start following their hurricane preparation plans now. You have less than 48 hours to complete your preparations. Be sure to listen to local media for statements from emergency management agencies and the local NWS. If you live in areas prone to flooding, evacuate to a hurricane shelter or a place outside evacuation zones. If an evacuation order is given, please follow it.

People living from Virginia to New England should monitor the progress of Earl and think about their hurricane preparations.

Fiona
Fiona stayed too close to big brother Earl and is paying the price. Outflow from Earl is expected to create shear, transforming Fiona into an open trough. It's forecast to dissipate in 2-3 days.

600AM EDT UPDATE
Earl has weakened to a category 3 storm with maximum winds of 125 mph. NHC has extended the hurricane watch from the NC/VA border to Parramore island. The track forecast has shifted a bit to the west, so the chance of tropical-storm force winds in the New England area has gone up. For example, Eastport ME has a greater than 50% chance of tropical storm force winds now. For more cities, take a look at the wind probabilities product. Intensity forecast is relatively unchanged.

Fiona is starting to build a little more space between herself and Earl. If this keeps up, Fiona might have a shot at survival. This is worth keeping an eye on.

Next update
Dr. Jeff Masters will have an update Wednesday morning.

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1572. weathercrazy40
8:59 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
hurricane watch now posted up here in souther mass
Member Since: September 2, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 156
1571. linuxtech
4:56 PM GMT on September 01, 2010


Interesting map as it shows an easterly turn for almost all storms by 30 degree north latitude. With the above map and all the local TV channels saying it will miss us I might be comforted, we are located in Lancaster, VA 22503-2343. But I am thinking these so called local TV meteorologists should be fired for minimizing the risk as this potentially deadly storm approaches.

Tracks of all Sept category 3, 4 and 5 storms within 2 degrees of Earl is interesting indeed, but it is Sept 1st. The Great Atlantic Storm of 1944 (Sept 9-16) appears to have made the easterly turn closer to 33 degrees north. What might I learn if I saw the tracks of storms +- 15-20 days from the current date?

Thanks,
Chuck
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
1570. cirrocumulus
4:38 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
One thing we've seen before is how high pressure likes to build in after a strong storm. Now Fiona is going to go west instead of north. It's too bad all the models don't cover this in their calculations! Some, like the GFS, do.
Member Since: September 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1606
1569. hydrus
4:31 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting StormPro:

It is awful...after "K" we drank hot beer....better than no beer
After an experience like"K" I bet warm beer was a blessing.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21239
1568. hydrus
4:28 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting KanKunKid:


Rookies: the number one item should be water, followed by toilet paper, then beer, but after beer gets warm then what? Whiskey, also good for cuts and scrapes and trades for other items. Whiskey is currency in a post hurricane civilization. Listen and learn, beer is given away when it is warm. I can't believe you guys, none of you said toilet paper! What kind of barbarians are you? Well, if you said baby wipes, that is actually better, much better than TP, especially if you don't have running water. The term "Crusty fellow" may apply and give you a reputation you may not like. Also, a battery powered fan can get you "favors" and other personal services that others only dream about lying in a pool of sweat.

There,s nothing like getting grilled by an old pro. Point taken.:)Earl looking healthy.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21239
1567. hurricanejunky
3:56 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Cyclone Oz will be going live starting at 6pm EDT. Follow along because the first 15 minutes are going to be a special treat. Do you think he's got the goods to get past the authorities heading out to Buxton? Only time will tell...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2898
1566. at519
3:55 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting CaneWolf:
@at519 post 1497 - Can't give you current IKE for Earl, but here's a calculator you can use to determine IKE.

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/ike/Calculator_AllQuad.php

Thanx...
Member Since: July 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4
1565. StormPro
3:50 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting medicroc:

NO BEER!!! The inhumanity!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is awful...after "K" we drank hot beer....better than no beer
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 606
1564. Bordonaro
3:47 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Good Morning.

Buoy 41046 survived a DIRECT hit from Earl. Min pressures fell to 942MB, 27.85". Seas approached 48 feet and winds spiked up to over 100 MPH.

NC it is time for a calm, calculated response because Earl will be nearby late Thursday-Friday

NC coastal residents in the OBX area, finish your preparations and PLEASE leave the Outer Banks ASAP, do not be foolish and try to ride this out..PLEASE..

Folks in the Hurricane Watch north to DE, secure all loose items, make sure your boats are moored securely, be ready for the possibility of strong TS force winds from 45-65MPH, with higher gusts up to 74-90 MPH, just in case Earl gets a little too close for comfort.

My friends in NJ, CT, NY, especially Far Eastern LI, MA, NH and ME please understand a strong hurricane may be within 50-120 miles off your coastline. PLEASE follow recommendations from your local NWS office.

My friends in Nova Scotia, follow the directions of the Canadian Hurricane Centre, be prepared for a strong CAT 1 hurricane, with winds of up to 90MPH, torrential rains and battering seas.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
1562. ShenValleyFlyFish
3:45 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Looks like everyone, but the trolls is holding their breath waiting to see what develops before calling this next step in the track. A lot of crow riding on this not to mention some stuff that really matters.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1561. StormsAreCool
3:44 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Unfortunately there are some people who want to be hit. I believe we call them wishcasters.


Why "unfortunately?" Growing up in Florida, and now living on the Gulf Coast of MS, I've been through several hurricanes. I still like them. Does that mean I wish anything harmful or destructive on anyone? No. Well, maybe 1 or 2, but usually no.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 133
1560. SQUAWK
3:44 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting futuremet:


I have no one in my ignore list. I ignore trolls by just simply...well...ignoring their posts.


It is a shame that the juveniles on the blog can't grow up and do the same thing. I wish they would do away with the ignore button and then the these peeps would have to just figure out how the skim the blog and read what they want. I find it interesting that the trolls are smart enough to yank these peoples chains. And - by-the-way - I do not have your ignore list so I can't tell who you have on ignore in the first place.
Member Since: December 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2498
1559. osuwxguynew
3:43 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
This forecast has got to be a nightmare for the NHC...

The models suggest a path just off coast with some damage, but nothing catastrophic.

There is a tendency that once a storm like this starts to turn to the northwest and accelerate the recurve is faster than the models forecast.

So on one side they probably "think" that Earl won't be much more that some strong surf...but if they're wrong they would get clobbered in the media.

And the ultimate nightmare for this storm is that we WON'T know until literally 6-12 hours before if the storm will make landfall or not on the OBX.

Well there is one other thing. The amount of people and time it takes to evacuate areas along the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast. But that's been covered by the emergency management folk here earlier.
Member Since: June 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
1558. StormsAreCool
3:42 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Unfortunately there are some people who want to be hit. I believe we call them wishcasters.


Why "unfortunately?" Growing up in Florida, and now living on the Gulf Coast of MS, I've been through several hurricanes. I still like them. Does that mean I wish anything harmful or destructive on anyone? No. Well, maybe 1 or 2, but usually no.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 133
1557. MoltenIce
3:41 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Earl's new eye looking better.
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 776
1556. OBXNCWEATHER
3:41 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting at519:
Does anyone on this blog know the IKE number of Earl? No pun intended but Ike had an IKE number of a catagory 4 but the winds of a category 2. The storm surge caught a lot of people off guard here on the upper Texas coast. They ended up in a debris pile 15 miles on the other side of westbay! I think the OBX better stay on their toes and get out of dodge....


This is an excellent question that I would like to be able to keep updated on as much as possible until the storm gets past me.

The same thing happened to use w/ Isabel that happened with Ike.
Member Since: June 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 113
1555. tulsahurrcane
3:40 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting SkulDouggery:
Where is the Doctors blog update this morning?


There is a new blog - sorry if I'm repeating - never saw the post show up.
Member Since: August 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 129
1554. Hoff511
3:39 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
New Blog.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 265
1552. Bonedog
3:38 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
darn blog at my post LOl and it was a good one too
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1551. mikatnight
3:38 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
NEW BLOG.
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1549. StormsAreCool
3:37 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Sorry about the multiple posts. The site was eating my comments.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 133
1548. Bonedog
3:36 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Storm.. if your not busy... or at your leasure...


I have been watching the visable loops of the east coast watching the trough and Earl. I noticed around Il, IN, Ky, TN there seems to be a bow in the cloud deck almost in relation to the outer shape of earl. Is that really what i am seeing? Almost as if earl is holding the trough back there and the northern part is allowed to progress thus giving a weakness that can be expolited?
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1547. StormsAreCool
3:36 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Unfortunately there are some people who want to be hit. I believe we call them wishcasters.


Why "unfortunately?" Growing up in Florida, and now living on the Gulf Coast of MS, I've been through several hurricanes. I still like them. Does that mean I wish anything harmful or destructive on anyone? No. Well, maybe 1 or 2, but usually no.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 133
1546. CaneWolf
3:36 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
@at519 post 1497 - Can't give you current IKE for Earl, but here's a calculator you can use to determine IKE.

http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/ike/Calculator_AllQuad.php
Member Since: June 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 23
1544. PEISLANDER
3:35 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Will the brush with the mainland (OBX) have much of an effect on Earl's strength? The storm is forecast to gradually weaken anyway but asking because I live in Eastern Canada which has been under the gun now for a few days. thanks
Member Since: August 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 12
1543. TGTTX
3:35 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting at519:
Does anyone on this blog know the IKE number of Earl? No pun intended but Ike had an IKE number of a catagory 4 but the winds of a category 2. The storm surge caught a lot of people off guard here on the upper Texas coast. They ended up in a debris pile 15 miles on the other side of westbay! I think the OBX better stay on their toes and get out of dodge....


This is such a great point. Saffir-Simpson Category numbers do not fully portray the potential hazards of any particular landfalling hurricane. Windspeeds convey only a part of that message. Southeast Texans remember Allison (just a weak little tropical storm -- but it caused catastrophic flooding) and Ike ("what's the big deal? It's only a Cat 2.")
Member Since: July 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 38
1542. StormsAreCool
3:35 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Unfortunately there are some people who want to be hit. I believe we call them wishcasters.


Why "unfortunately?" Growing up in Florida, and now living on the Gulf Coast of MS, I've been through several hurricanes. I still like them. Does that mean I wish anything harmful or destructive on anyone? No. Well, maybe 1 or 2, but usually no.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 133
1541. Squid28
3:35 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting hydrus:
Water, power and gas o.k. BUT BEER? Why? Stock up:)


Ever drank a room temperature beer after a hurricane (no ice, power or fridge left) I have......
Member Since: May 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 343
1540. GeauxGirl
3:35 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting medicroc:

NO BEER!!! The inhumanity!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is the truth. ;-)
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 105
1539. tulsahurrcane
3:34 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting SkulDouggery:
Where is the Doctors blog update this morning?

There is a new blog
Member Since: August 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 129
1538. rwdobson
3:33 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting at519:
Does anyone on this blog know the IKE number of Earl? No pun intended but Ike had an IKE number of a catagory 4 but the winds of a category 2. The storm surge caught a lot of people off guard here on the upper Texas coast. They ended up in a debris pile 15 miles on the other side of westbay! I think the OBX better stay on their
toes and get out of dodge....


Surge is usually worse in the gulf compared to the atlantic because the gulf is a small, shallow basin. So you get all the surge funneled towards the landfall point.
Member Since: June 12, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1589
1537. newportrinative
3:33 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting FloatingCity:

Nobody should be disappointed, because it stays offshore...you can like your hurricane offshore just as much...so i'll say it again, in what way will someone be disapointed if Earl stays offshore...answer me that.


Nobody should be disappointed but there will be some that will be. People that have never been thru a hurricane and want to experience.
Young adults who don't have to work and want to party, etc......
I remember being excited when I was in my 20's, having a hurricane come and getting ready for hurricane parties with friends.
The original poster was correct saying some will be disappointed but did not wish harm on anyone. It was a simple statement, that's all.
Member Since: May 20, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 205
1536. rarepearldesign
3:33 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting hydrus:
Water, power and gas o.k. BUT BEER? Why? Stock up:)


You can be sure my house in Halifax will be quite stocked in beer for Earl.
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 145
1535. leelee75k
3:32 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
the site is eating posts, Dr M has a new blog up
Member Since: September 9, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 562
1534. Engine2
3:32 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
12z GFS underway
Member Since: February 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 482
1533. StormsAreCool
3:32 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Unfortunately there are some people who want to be hit. I believe we call them wishcasters.


Why "unfortunately"? Growing up in Florida, and now living on the Gulf Coast of MS, I've been through several hurricanes, and I still like them. Does that mean I wish anything harmful or destructive on people? No. Well, maybe a couple.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 133
1532. SiestaCpl
3:32 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Earl's eye signature (rather triangular) suggests mesocylones embedded in the eye wall. If so this is a sign of further rapid intensification.

As to surge height, once a storm has attained a certain level (Cat4 135 mph) the water pushed in front of the storm continues to remain at that higher level. Earl has been pushing huge waves and an extreme surge potential for days now and will continue to up the coast. All living along inlets must take the surge threat seriously even if winds stay at lower levels.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 383
1531. mikatnight
3:31 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
NEW BLOG!!!
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1529. Squid28
3:31 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting BobinTampa:
to be fair, how the hell is anyone supposed to know who is on someone else's Ignore list?? And if they choose not to ignore that person, who are you guys to tell them to ignore that person??

That said, apocalyps is a troll.


BIT obviously no one is able to tell who one considers a troll, or is on a particular persons iggy list. What a lot of people may not realize, is that for those who want everyone to see their comments, if you repeatedley quote a troll, I will put the quoter in addition to the original poster on ignore as well. Even if they do not personally put you on ignore enough people will hit the minus sign that your comments will not show unless you use "show all" on the blogs filter settings.

Weather:
I really hope Earl does no harm to the northeast. First those of us in the south will never here the end of the stories of the year the red neck hurricane showed up to destroy the yankees. Second the people living up in the potential strike zone will have to develop a real deep understanding of some acronyms like FEMA, SBA, etc., how mortgage companies like to disburse funds for repairs to their homes, and all the little nuances of a homeowners policy; and how they can directly impact their lives in a not so good way.
Member Since: May 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 343
1527. BobinTampa
3:30 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
Quoting DestinJeff:
TD9 track might bring out Joker Foxtrot Victor.


and he'll be saying Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 532
1526. apocalyps
3:30 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
The outerbands of Earl are infected by the magnetic field of the earth.
Florida lies in that same field.Does not look good keep safe
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 960
1525. CJ5
3:30 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
09 has nice large rotation. It wouldn't take much for it to consolidate and become Gaston. The potential track will be one to watch for sure.
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1524. nadirsup
3:29 PM GMT on September 01, 2010
For the month of August the 7-11 stores were giving a free bag of ice with Bud purchases. My garage fridge is now properly stocked!
Member Since: October 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6

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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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