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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Quoting OBXNCWEATHER:


You guys really missed a monster down there... Keep your fingers crossed for our little islands here in NC...


yes fingers and toes!!
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HURRICANE EARL ADVISORY NUMBER 28
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072010
500 AM EDT WED SEP 01 2010

...EARL NOW A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE...HURRICANE WATCH EXTENDED
NORTHWARD ALONG THE VIRGINIA COAST...


SUMMARY OF 500 AM EDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...24.0N 71.2W
ABOUT 175 MI...280 KM N OF GRAND TURK ISLAND
ABOUT 815 MI...1315 KM SSE OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...125 MPH...205 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 16 MPH...26 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...941 MB...27.79 INCHES
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try this again

Mornin Smuldy!!
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Quoting xcool:
traumaboyy blog.


I have to ask why man....PM it too me if you don't want to say on blog....

...and I completely understand if not my dam business...lol
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Morning all. The only thing to say is.... Thank goodness for SWly shear!



You guys really missed a monster down there... Keep your fingers crossed for our little islands here in NC...
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468. xcool
traumaboyy blog.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Morning all. The only thing to say is.... Thank goodness for SWly shear!



AMEN!!
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xcool y
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Quoting xcool:
traumaboyy .YEAH soon giong be mylast day here not rigth.


On the blog??
ON EARTH??
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Morning all. The only thing to say is.... Thank goodness for SWly shear!

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Quoting OBXNCWEATHER:
Good morning everyone....

Well, I fell asleep before the 11 pm advisory last night, and awoke to just about the same info from the NHC as when I went to bed...

Can someone tell me what the models are doing? It seems that they might be slowly splitting into two camps now - - one calling for a strike or landfall, and the other keeping the COC offshore of us here on the OBX. Is this correct?
the 2am-ish runs (UKmet, NOGAPS and EURO) all had it within 50 miles, and the NOGAPS had it actually hit. UKMET doesn't extend out far enough to get it's take on NE, but Euro had a hit around the cape, NOGAPS around RI.
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Quoting Kowaliga:


Too late for breakfast but thanks just the same!!!


YW!
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461. xcool
traumaboyy .YEAH soon giong be mylast day here not rigth.
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460. xcool
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Quoting traumaboyy:
GOOD MORNING LURKERS....COFFEE AND SUGAR COOKIES FOR NIGHT SHIFT STAFF ONLY!!


Too late for breakfast but thanks just the same!!!
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Good morning everyone....

Well, I fell asleep before the 11 pm advisory last night, and awoke to just about the same info from the NHC as when I went to bed...

Can someone tell me what the models are doing? It seems that they might be slowly splitting into two camps now - - one calling for a strike or landfall, and the other keeping the COC offshore of us here on the OBX. Is this correct?
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Quoting xcool:
SOON GOING BE MY LASTNIGTH HERE ON


Huh.....bartender...I'll have a double what he's having!!
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Quoting cfayne:
The way Earl is doing reminds me so much of Floyd in 1999. Stayed west of the forecast the entire time, and then slammed NC with catastrophic rain.
Think the synoptic pattern, save for the storms ahead of and behind Earl, more closely resembles the setup for Gloria.
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
You never know on this site. Have you ever seen "Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolfe" ?
read teh screenplay and fair enough sometimes this place can get to an all out attack mode lol usually we here on the night crew are not so unstable though
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455. xcool
;
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GOOD MORNING LURKERS....COFFEE AND SUGAR COOKIES FOR NIGHT SHIFT STAFF ONLY!!
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453. xcool
SOON GOING BE MY LASTNIGTH HERE ON
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452. xcool
LOLOL
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Quoting traumaboyy:


50 people on night shift last night.....now three??.....any lurkers??
Some of us mostly lurk but we're here...LOL. Thanks for the early morning posts.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


50 people on night shift last night.....now three??.....any lurkers??


'bin-lurkin' for 6 years now...
...if it aint busted I don't fix it! ;-)
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98L seems to be picking up steam.
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98l is indeed looking nice as it seems to be getting a much earlier start than the NHC initially predicted. I'm looking forward to what the models will day as the next day or so passes. Will it be a Bermuda High roller, or will the ridge build and keep into the Caribbean (or somewhere between, like Florida to GOMEX.
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The way Earl is doing reminds me so much of Floyd in 1999. Stayed west of the forecast the entire time, and then slammed NC with catastrophic rain. I live 40 miles inland and we received 24 inches of rain. I fear Earl will do as Floyd and follow an almost exact tract as it is setting up to do now. Nobody took Floyd seriously til the warnings went up and then it was to late. Interstate backed up in one direction for over 100 miles. I hope I am wrong but I feel a NC landfall, somewhere around Morehead City. It will be interesting over the next 36 hours.
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Sobe was kinda slow tonight, has been the last couple of weeks hopefully it will be nice and lively come the weekend. Meanwhile Euro seems stuck@120 on Huffman's page, was at 120 when I went out a couple of hours ago, still there. Anyone else having that problem?
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Quoting xcool:
traumaboyy 9.99 THAT HIGH .HOW ABOUT 99$


Yessir.....finance another trip for me and me mates to NOLA!!
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443. xcool
traumaboyy 9.99 THAT HIGH .HOW ABOUT 99C
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i was jk
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441. xcool


Lower Convergence is when the air in the lower levels of the atmosphere

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Quoting xcool:
traumaboyy YEA 5.99$


9.99....DEMAND!!

Mornin Smuldy!! HOWZ Miami??
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Here's a nice image showing Earl (also the failing showers & t-storms that Michigan may experience here in a few hours that I will not stay awake for) Click for large image.

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blog is dead
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437. xcool
traumaboyy YEA 5.99$
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
I disagree. It's a compact little cat4 with some dry air problems. Pressure has held steady at 940 for several hrs.
i think they are joking, if im wrong, your disagreement is right
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Quoting xcool:




Wow!! Batteries for sale!!

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434. xcool


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Quoting xcool:


98L


50 people on night shift last night.....now three??.....any lurkers??
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431. xcool


98L
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430. xcool
yea
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98 is getting better organized.....
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428. xcool
yep rip lol
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earl rip
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426. xcool
haha noaa just what offfline lolSatellite Imagery Not Found
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lol
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424. xcool


xcool
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Quoting Katelynn:
Buoy 41046

@ 2:50am EDT

66 knts NNE, gusts to 83.5

Wave Height 48.6 ft

Pressure 28.3 (falling rapidly)


Hi! New here :) Having sailed that area a few times, I find the wave heights to be unbelievable at that buoy!


ETA: dang....I type so slow, lol....thx mississippi!


My boat only 43.....NOT GOOD SAILING WEATHER!!
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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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