Earl significantly weakening

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:54 PM GMT on September 02, 2010

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Hurricane Earl has significantly weakened today. The Hurricane Hunters found a central pressure of 948 mb at 4:06pm EDT, a large 20 mb rise from the 928 mb pressure of the 5am EDT advisory this morning. The aircraft found flight level winds at 10,000 feet of 124 mph, which translates to surface winds at the boundary between Category 2 and Category 3 strength, 112 mph. However, the SFMR instrument on the aircraft saw top surface winds of just 98 mph. Satellite imagery shows that Earl is no longer as impressive--the eye is less distinct, and the hurricane has a lopsided appearance. Dry air and wind shear of 15 - 20 knots have chewed away at Earl's southwest side.

Earl has made its turn to the north, and is headed for a close brush with North Carolina's Outer Banks. Rain bands from the hurricane have reached the coast, as seen on long-range Cape Hatteras radar.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Earl.

Forecast for Earl
If you're wondering about your chances for receiving hurricane force or tropical storm force winds from Earl, I highly recommend the NHC wind probability product. The highest odds of hurricane force winds for any location on the U.S. coast are for Nantucket--25%. Yarmouth, Nova Scotia has the highest odds for Canada, 15%, and Cape Hatteras has the highest odds for North Carolina, 19%. The latest set of model runs from 8am EDT (12Z) this morning show little change to Earl's track, and the latest SHIPS model forecast also shows no surprises. Wind shear will remain moderately high, 15 - 20 knots, through Friday morning. This should allow Earl to maintain Category 2 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 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. The expected impacts on the coast should somewhat less than what I outlined in this morning's blog post, because of Earl's recent weakening.


Figure 2. Wind field analysis of Hurricane Earl from 3:30pm EDT Thursday, September 2, 2010. Note the asymmetry in Earl's wind field, caused by the storm's forward motion of 18 mph to the north at the time. The highest contour has top winds of 80 kt (92 mph) surrounding the "+" on the NNE side of Earl--the strong right front quadrant of the storm. However, winds in the left front quadrant (on the west side) were just 75 knots (87 mph.) The asymmetry is not nearly as great as what was observed at 9:30am this morning. Image credit: NOAA/AOML/Hurricane Research Division.

Fiona
There is little change in the forecast for Tropical Storm Fiona, which is struggling due to high wind shear, courtesy of strong upper-level northerly winds from Hurricane Earl's outflow. 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). Wind shear from Earl and dry air should keep Fiona from attaining hurricane status, and the shear may be strong enough to destroy Fiona.

Gaston dies
Tropical Depression Gaston lost its battle with dry air. Satellite imagery shows that Gaston no longer has a surface circulation, and NHC has declared the system dead. 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.


Figure 3. Afternoon satellite image of Gaston (left) and the latest tropical wave to move off of Africa (right).

New tropical wave
A large and well-organized tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa last night, and this wave has the potential to follow the pattern set by Danielle, Earl, Fiona, and Gaston. Several models do develop this system into a tropical depression early next week, and NHC is giving the wave a 10% chance of developing by Saturday afternoon. Wind shear is currently too high, 30 - 40 knots, for the wave to develop. However, once the wave reaches a point a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verdes Islands two days from now, wind shear will drop and development will be more likely.

There is also a tropical wave over Central Africa which will emerge from the coast in 4 - 5 days. Some of the models are predicting development of this wave, 7 or so days from now.

Links to follow today
Cape Hatteras weather
Cape Hatteras radar

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

Jeff Masters

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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
see my videos from Hurricane Earl and it's effects at Carolina, Puerto Rico.

Link


Conditions at my house were just like that! (I live in Bo. Maricao, Vega Alta, PR.)
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Almost up to the road 250+ miles from the storm.

Imagine when the storm actually arrives....
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Almost up to the road 250+ miles from the storm.



I predict an arrival of Darwin.
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Quoting StormW:
GASTON


There's still a heartbeat
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gaston will hit FL
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Quoting 305st0rm:
Quoting LavosPhoenix:


Might want to actually check the links to the images, and you'll notice that other than the radar and wunderground pics of hurricane tracks, the images are on different hosts. While multihosting is possible, it's very unlikely that wunderground is hosted on the same server(s) as those sites. And logic prevails.
I'm thinking that the wunderground servers snag a ghost image and store that.
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No will, can you post it again please? Thanks!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Sometimes I wonder about people in here...

Just sometimes?
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It's official, Just listening to CycloneOz.
Just an aside for the moment.
He is crazy, yet passionate for Tropical storms and Hurricanes and all by chasing them down, but some of his stories are out there. He was just talking about how delicious these pork appetizers were and how they were cooked to perfection, tender, tender, but with just the right amount of crispiness. Also, talking about during Hurricane Ike, when he was on the 3rd floor of a parking garage, he was right next to 3 transformers on a telephone pole. So close, he could have touched them, hmmm. Talk about coming close to crispiness himself. OK, back to the tropics, just found it very humorous listening to some of Oz's stories are, while riding out the storm.
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Is surge still going to be a huge issue in NC?
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Quoting david276:
Never understood the Gamecocks name. I know they mean rooster etc etc. But is that like bird fighting or w/e ? they mean by it? or is it just a random name


It was the nickname of a war hero. Actually, his nickname was Carolina Gamecock. Now, don't ask me how he got that nickname it is SC after all...LOL.
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07L/H/E/C1
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
SJ did you see that hatteras pier link that was posted?
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Summary, Earl is following long range track. Good job to models and NHC. Intensity always the hardest to predict but track has been almost perfect. Fiona has been a fighter in Earl's wake, better than I expected. Gaston is a remnant low which could be very dangerous.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3292
Almost 250 miles from the storm.

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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
I think that means as far as the NHC is concerned; Gaston is no more
(Buzzer sound) wrong.That means he's coming back.
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Quoting RecordSeason:
Hey slightly off topic question.


Does anybody know what the name is for the very bright red/orange star in the west? visible from louisiana right now.

I don't know much about stars, but I know Betlegeuse is a red super giant and is one of the brightest stars, but I don't know where it is in the sky. Thought maybe this was either Betlegeuse or a planet, but don't know for sure.


I saw that earlier tonight in Florida too.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I still disagree.... Halifax Hbr is pretty sheltered, and some of the Winter storms they get are pretty vicious. I would be more worried about the North end of the B of Fundy.


Sure if you only count Halifax Harbour. There are many other communities all along the coast that are consider Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) that aren't as sheltered.

As well, Juan SCREWED the Halifax docks.

The Bay of Fundy has little to no homes near where flooding will cause issues.
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Quoting jeebsa:
PSL/White City for 22 Years here now in Palm City.not so far. Good to see locals here.
In Favre we hope, not quite the same. Agreed on the locals. Maybe we can WU mail. Don't want to slow down the blog getting to know one another.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
Quoting tkeith:


Taz and DestinJeff must be in jail again :)


LOL Probably so.
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605. MZT
Quoting LavosPhoenix:


it's very unlikely that wunderground is hosted on the same server(s) as those sites. And logic prevails.


I don't know how Wunderground even found the budget to allow avatars. It took a few years to even get the "self-moderating" blog features.
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Quoting KanKunKid:


I have lots of friends there. Spent a lot of time there in the last 12 years. Used to vacation in Jensen beach when I lived in Indiana. Area sure has changed.
Thats for sure
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Earl's waves at Folly Beach, SC
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Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting StormW:
00Z STATISICAL


00Z DYNAMIC
Quoting StormW:
00Z STATISICAL


00Z DYNAMIC
Thank You Storm Always superb
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Hey slightly off topic question.


Does anybody know what the name is for the very bright red/orange star in the west? visible from louisiana right now.

I don't know much about stars, but I know Betlegeuse is a red super giant and is one of the brightest stars, but I don't know where it is in the sky. Thought maybe this was either Betlegeuse or a planet, but don't know for sure.
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2336
Earl still in a EWRC?
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wth?...blog is whacked tonight is it a full moon or something?
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see my videos from Hurricane Earl and it's effects at Carolina, Puerto Rico.

Link

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Quoting Flyairbird:
The increasing amount of the animations are probably killing the servers


Might want to actually check the links to the images, and you'll notice that other than the radar and wunderground pics of hurricane tracks, the images are on different hosts. While multihosting is possible, it's very unlikely that wunderground is hosted on the same server(s) as those sites. And logic prevails.
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Quoting rarepearldesign:


Correct, this is not an issue. High surf in Halifax will cause more damage.


I still disagree.... Halifax Hbr is pretty sheltered, and some of the Winter storms they get are pretty vicious. I would be more worried about the North end of the B of Fundy.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting CaneWarning:
The blog is quiet tonight, especially with a hurricane this close to land.


Taz and DestinJeff must be in jail again :)
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Quoting jeebsa:
PSL/White City for 22 Years here now in Palm City.not so far. Good to see locals here.


I have lots of friends there. Spent a lot of time there in the last 12 years. Used to vacation in Jensen beach when I lived in Indiana. Area sure has changed.
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Quoting KanKunKid:

South central FL. Clewiston?
East Coast for me Palm City
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
This means he is regenerating, correct ?
I think that means as far as the NHC is concerned; Gaston is no more
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Wow. What a windfield.

now that it's in good range, radar estimates of windfield are amazing.

Outer Banks folks should be thankful this thing weakened as much as it did.
Member Since: June 13, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2336
Quoting CaneWarning:
The blog is quiet tonight, especially with a hurricane this close to land.
They are all holding their collective breath...
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Quoting TxKeef:


Hello there jeebsa!
How Are Ya
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The blog is quiet tonight, especially with a hurricane this close to land.
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Quoting jeebsa:
In Farve you trust???
PSL/White City for 22 Years here now in Palm City.not so far. Good to see locals here.
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Quoting MZT:


Canucks have been replying to this... the bay is surrounded by high ground and rocks, and people build away from the shore anyway b/c of the high tides. So it wouldn't be the calamity that we see on barrier islands off the US coast, which are basically sand spits.


Correct, this is not an issue. High surf in Halifax will cause more damage.
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Quoting StormW:


Just checked the website...they went blank on the website.


Hi Storm- just wondering what your thoughst are of the current NHC track for Earl in Nova Scotia. Right now it has it closer to Yarmouth and the New Brunswick border. DO you see any chance of it moving more East towards Halifax as the earlier tracks showed or do you feel itwill continue leaning west? Thanks as always.
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575. floridiancanuck

nice avatar...lol
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Quoting jeebsa:
Guess I haven't earned my wings yet....


Hello there jeebsa!
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Quoting jeebsa:

I understand south /central Florida here. our neighbors to the North take the Lime Light right now. N.E. track is good news.

South central FL. Clewiston?
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Quoting Grothar:


Close; ancient Latin. LOL
I wasn't gonna rule out hieroglyphics :)
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Quoting MZT:


Canucks have been replying to this... the bay is surrounded by high ground and rocks, and people build away from the shore anyway b/c of the high tides. So it wouldn't be the calamity that we see on barrier islands off the US coast, which are basically sand spits.


Everything you said is correct, plus, the Bay of Fundy can accomodate a spring tide, or when the tide is at its annual peak, so even high tide right now, wouldn't be the highest tide the bay can accomdodate (which people know not to build near that level anyway). In many ways, the old Bay of Fundy is sitting pretty, it could drink up a storm surge that would easily swamp any other place!
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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.