Earl a Category 4 storm again

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:23 PM GMT on September 01, 2010

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Hurricane Earl has regained Category 4 strength this afternoon, and continues on a steady northwest path towards the North Carolina coast. Recent satellite imagery shows that Earl has become more symmetrical, with improved upper-level outflow and no signs of dry air wrapping into the core. The improved appearance is probably due to lower wind shear. Latest wind shear tendency imagery from the University of Wisconsin CIMSS group shows that shear on the southwest side of Earl has fallen by about 10 knots over the past 24 hours.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Earl.

Forecast for Earl
The latest set of model runs from 8am EDT (12Z) this morning shows little change to Earl's track. Thus, my write-up of the possible impacts to North Carolina, New England, and Canada in this morning's post remain unchanged. The latest SHIPS model forecast shows wind shear will remain moderate, about 15 knots, through Friday afternoon. This should allow Earl to maintain major hurricane status as it passes North Carolina early Friday morning. By Friday night, as Earl gets caught in the jet stream and accelerates to the northeast, wind shear will rise to 20 - 30 knots and ocean temperatures will plunge to 20°C, resulting in considerable weakening. Earl will still probably be a Category 1 or 2 hurricane early Saturday morning, when it will make its closest approach to New England. Earl is more likely to be a strong tropical storm or weak Category 1 hurricane early Saturday afternoon, when it is expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Earl is a large hurricane, which gives it a higher potential for storm surge damage than a smaller hurricane with the same top winds. One measure of a storm's power, useful for gauging storm surge threat, is to measure the speed of the winds and multiply by the area over which those winds blow. This total is called the Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE). Based on the storm's IKE, one can come up with a scale from 0 - 6 rating the storm's destructive power from its storm surge. A separate rating can be given to the destructive potential of the storm's winds. The IKE value of 112 Terrajoules for Earl, at 3:30pm EDT today, gives its storm surge a destructive power of 5.0 on a scale of 0 - 6. Earl's winds have a lower destructive power, 3.4 on a scale of 0 - 6. Let's hope the right front quadrant of Earl, where the main storm surge would occur, stays offshore! For comparison, the small Category 5 Hurricane Camille of 1969 had an IKE of 80 Terrajoules, and the very large Category 2 Hurricane Ike of 2008 had an IKE of 116 Terrajoules--similar to Category 3 Earl's.

Fiona
Tropical Storm Fiona is struggling due to high wind shear, courtesy of strong upper-level northerly winds from Hurricane Earl's outflow. The latest Hurricane Hunter center fix at 1:29pm EDT found Fiona had weakened some, with a central pressure of 999 mb. This is a rise of 1 mb from this morning. The wind shear analysis from the University of Wisconsin CIMSS group shows that shear has increased to a moderately high 15 - 20 knots this afternoon. Satellite loops show the classic signature of a tropical storm experiencing high wind shear--an exposed center of circulation, and all the heavy thunderstorms pushed to one side (the south side in this case). Martinique radar shows that the outer bands from Fiona are bringing heavy rain squalls to the same islands of the northern Lesser Antilles that were affected by Earl. Our wundermap for the northern Lesser Antilles shows no stations recorded winds over 20 mph this afternoon, though there was no reporting station on Barbuda, the island closest to Fiona.

Forecast for Fiona
Moderate wind shear and dry air should keep Fiona from attaining hurricane status over the next two days, as big brother Earl continues to bring high wind shear. The shear may be strong enough to destroy Fiona, as predicted by the NHC. However, by this weekend, Earl may pull far enough away for shear to drop and Fiona to survive. The 4 - 5 day track forecast is highly uncertain, as there is a large spread in the model solutions. It is possible Fiona may pose a threat to Bermuda on Saturday or Sunday, and the storm could wander for a week or more in the waters between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast.


Figure 2. Afternoon satellite image of Fiona.

Tropical Storm Gaston forms
Tropical Storm Gaston developed enough heavy thunderstorms near its center this afternoon to get a name, and appears destined to become Hurricane Gaston by early next week. Water vapor satellite images show a large area of dry air to the north and west of Gaston, and this dry air will be the dominant inhibiting factor for development. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts shear will remain moderate, 10 - 15 knots, for the next four days, and perhaps fall to the low range 4 - 5 days from now. Gaston is over warm 28°C waters, and should be able to steadily intensify into a hurricane by Saturday or Sunday, as predicted by the many of the intensity models. Gaston may threaten the northern Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Tuesday.

Next post
I'll have an update in the morning, and Dr. Rob Carver will have a late night update tonight.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
last image will be 315 utc till about 6 15 utc


Not if you use the Goes 15 Science Test

That's one kick ... Sat
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2255. skook
I must say... some nice "cool" dry air in florida. Feels awesome outside.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Don't insult idiots by calling him one! LOL


Dear Oz,

Sorry I called you an idiot. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I am just thankful that I didn't use the adjective I was thinking of when I called you that. Just sayin'. K? Bye.

<3 Tink
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Battleground will be 75W vs. 30N? which line will the *NE*Quad* pass first?
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2252. Hhunter
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2251. redUK
Quoting leo305:



the longer frames shows a NW movement though, the NNW movement was from 7-9PM I believe.. since then its been moving NW again on satellite. Check it out for yourself


Correct.

He has been faster the last couple of hours too.

Earl is now at 74w 28n

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Quoting TampaSpin:
Not much Consensus doubt it stays off shore. That would be a lot of wrong model runs....




Well, I guess I will ride out Earl in my house. I think leaving the windows open is best. It's pretty nice out now. I've been through worse than Earl. I got my rubbers on mom! I don't think the EM will try to make me leave.
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2249. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting redUK:
When is satellite blackout?
last image will be 315 utc till about 6 15 utc
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2248. bassis
Quoting leo305:



the longer frames shows a NW movement though, the NNW movement was from 7-9PM I believe.. since then its been moving NW again on satellite. Check it out for yourself


The tropical force winds extend 230 miles, all of us in the path are going to get some strong wind
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Quoting tinkahbell:


Personally? I think he's an idiot.


Don't insult idiots by calling him one! LOL
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting cheetaking:
Steering map clearly shows that Earl should indeed be moving NNW now. We're not going to have a mainland NC landfall. I concur with the NHC cone.

One more West wobble is possible....
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2244. KLS
This site has a more detailed surge inundation map and additional simulated photos for Manteo NC:
http://hurricanetrack.com/ncstormsurge/dare.htmlLink
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2243. hydrus
Quoting TheDawnAwakening:
Latest steering maps for a hurricane less than 940mb suggests the ridge has strengthened east of Earl.
Well that is no good...fix it...hurry!:)
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Quoting RecordSeason:
2205:

Last two sets of coordinates is NOT a good way of determining current trend in motion.

the previous update fix was 3.5 hours ago and happened BEFORE the change in direction, which was about an hour ago and has become evident on satellite.

The current motion is basicly about 315 degrees across the last 30 minutes to an hour.


30 minutes to an hours is not enough to determine motion...try 2-3 hours...
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2241. xcool
okay rob
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting Ryuujin:
I give up arguing with people. Just keep watching to see what he does. I'm tired of what I'm going to start calling "Ostrich-Casters" here.


Stick your head in the sand and pretend nothing bad will happen and that it'll somehow miss when all available scientific data and rational thought (something computers and computer models cannot do) tell you otherwise.


Ostrich casters!!! LOVE IT
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
He is Now Intervieving People at Buxton, NC (Outerbanks)

This Guy is Crazy Lol


Personally? I think he's an idiot.
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2238. leo305
Quoting rwdobson:


See, that's why you need to look at longer time frames to discern the true path.


the longer frames shows a NW movement though, the NNW movement was from 7-9PM I believe.. since then its been moving NW again on satellite. Check it out for yourself

remember updates are every 3 hours, so most of the update had it moving almost due north during that temporary jog
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@2231 Looking at short time frames is misleading. You guys are trying to pick out some brief wobble to justify your wildest wishcasts.
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2236. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Not much Consensus doubt it stays off shore. That would be a lot of wrong model runs....


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Quoting rwdobson:


Gained twice as much lattitude from the last adivsory as it did longitude.


Yep...NNW and just a hair E of forecast points.
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heading to bed, will be up early for further discussion
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2232. redUK
When is satellite blackout?
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2205:

Last two sets of coordinates is NOT a good way of determining current trend in motion.

the previous update fix was 3.5 hours ago and happened BEFORE the change in direction, which was about an hour ago and has become evident on satellite.

The current motion is basicly about 315 degrees across the last 30 minutes to an hour.
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2336
why scott i need break bb at 1115 my time
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Quoting leo305:



it jogged almost due north between the update though, then turned a bit NW again, and still moving NW


See, that's why you need to look at longer time frames to discern the true path.
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Wow the tropics are on fire! It's like Africa is a Hurricane producing machine! Just stay out of the gulf please. And be safe East coasters! Prayers for yall!
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I have a Bunny suicide calendar in my home office. - and trust it more thannnnnnn ( southern draw) the HYCHGBRWCR center.


The bunny is running toward the beach.


Might be time to get out of the OBX


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get out of my way dude I just busted my a**
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Latest steering maps for a hurricane less than 940mb suggests the ridge has strengthened east of Earl.
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Quoting Ryuujin:
I give up arguing with people. Just keep watching to see what he does. I'm tired of what I'm going to start calling "Ostrich-Casters" here.


Stick your head in the sand and pretend nothing bad will happen and that it'll somehow miss when all available scientific data and rational thought (something computers and computer models cannot do) tell you otherwise.


OK.
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2222. leo305

Quoting rwdobson:


Try comparing the last 2 sets of coordinates.

Then try responding with some actual science instead of personal attacks.


it jogged almost due north between the update though, then turned a bit NW again, and still moving NW
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2221. JLPR2
Quoting gator23:

Gaston is forecast to effect the keys?


That is not known yet, the forecast for Earl is very similar to Georges's track till the Leewards, may I need to remind you of one of your points, the islands are before the US.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI


TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
WITN pretty much poo-pooing the storm.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


I'm surprised. How'd he do it?


Lol Some of the People hes Intreviewing ... Lol now hes going to Comfort Inn.
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Quoting bwat:
I have too agree, go to the sat loop and turn off all the frames except the first and the last. look at the short term movment and that is nowhere near N or NNW.


Gained twice as much lattitude from the last adivsory as it did longitude.
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to quote Destinjeff, -- DOH!!
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Quoting Flyairbird:
Agreed. It has always been said to listen to local authorities on this blog.

I think I'f been a proud member of this blog for years and you are exactly right! N
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2214. Zeec94
If Earl makes his North turn at or west of the 75 Parallel people in Hampton Roads, Virginia and the Outer Banks, North Carolina should be a lot more concerned. Anywhere at or west of the 75 Parallel can bring heavier rain, winds, and storm surge to the region. It needs to turn North BEFORE the 75. Going to be close.
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Quoting medicroc:

couple of questions
1. Who forced you onto this blog
2. Are you aware that each day more than 5,000,000 blogs and websites are created, more than enough for you to haunt in a lifetime. So why don't you GSWTFE(go somehwere the f--k else). Don't care if I get banned . Majority of people on here are good people , don't need to be disrespected like this.
Oh , and my training? Master's Degree Emergency And Disaster Management with portion of course spent traing in Isreal; wrote disaster plans for company with 137,000 employees in 44 countries; physician assistant 10 years; paramedic 20 years. Now let's hear yours!


+10
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2212. ncstorm
Quoting leo305:


it was moving NNW almost due north for a couple of hours earlier today, then it starting moving NW again as it began to strengthen, as of right now the movement on satellite has been basically NW


hmmm, well you got a population of over 120000 people who think we are out of the woods for hurricane force winds because of the 11pm broadcast..that Earl is turning AWAY from us in SE NC..
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2211. bassis
Quoting DestinJeff:
Clearly Earl is moving NNNWNWNNWWNNWN
Damn, I want one of those compasses
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2210. KLS
I'm always interested in storm surge potential. Here's a link to a surge depth simulation for Manteo NC -- I think I would be heading out of the area if I lived there.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/surge/X_manteo.htm
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2209. Ryuujin
I give up arguing with people. Just keep watching to see what he does. I'm tired of what I'm going to start calling "Ostrich-Casters" here.


Stick your head in the sand and pretend nothing bad will happen and that it'll somehow miss when all available scientific data and rational thought (something computers and computer models cannot do) tell you otherwise.
Member Since: August 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 399
2207. hydrus
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


Well the $64,000 question is will the trough make it in time?
My guess is yes, but barely. And that is not saying the Outer Banks will not receive hurricane force winds. The New England forecast depends on the configuration of the trough when Earl is nearing the coast there, if it is north to south, the storm will move northerly, and probably make a direct hit. If the trough is situated north-east to south-west, it will deflect Earl before hitting land. At the moment, it really is a watch, wait and hope for the best scenario.
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2206. ussual
"couple of questions
1. Who forced you onto this blog
2. Are you aware that each day more than 5,000,000 blogs and websites are created, more than enough for you to haunt in a lifetime. So why don't you GSWTFE(go somehwere the f--k else). Don't care if I get banned . Majority of people on here are good people , don't need to be disrespected like this.
Oh , and my training? Master's Degree Emergency And Disaster Management with portion of course spent traing in Isreal; wrote disaster plans for company with 137,000 employees in 44 countries; physician assistant 10 years; paramedic 20 years. Now let's hear yours!"


+1
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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.