Earl hits Nova Scotia but spares New England; Gaston still a threat

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:30 PM GMT on September 04, 2010

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Tropical Storm Earl roared ashore over western Nova Scotia late this morning, bringing heavy rain and tropical storm force winds to much of the province. The capital of Halifax recorded sustained winds of 51 mph, gusting to 75 mph at 12:48pm AST this afternoon, and the power is out to tens of thousands of residents in Nova Scotia. Winds were stronger at McNabs Island, in Halifax Harbor, where sustained winds of 64 mph, gusting to 76 mph, occurred at noon AST.

Earl's center passed about 100 miles southeast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, at 1am EDT this morning, and the winds on the weak left side of the storm never reached sustained tropical storm strength (39 mph) at any New England land station. The peak wind gust in Massachusetts may have been the 58 mph gust recorded on Cape Cod 5 miles south-southeast of Barnstable early this morning. Earl did bring some very high waves to New England; waves at the buoy 60 miles southeast of Nantucket peaked at 27 feet early this morning. Heavy rain from Earl--over five inches in some locations--caused localized flooding and road closures on Cape Cod and on Marthas Vineyard.


Figure 1. Hurricane Earl as seen from the International Space Station on Thursday, September 2, 2010. Image credit: NASA astronaut Douglas Wheelock.


Figure 2. Radar estimated rainfall from Earl from the Cape Cod radar.

Gaston a threat to develop
Recent satellite imagery shows that Gaston's remains have developed a well-organized surface circulation, but not enough heavy thunderstorm activity to be considered a tropical depression. A large amount of dry air surrounds Gaston's remains on all sides, as seen on water vapor satellite loops. This dry air will continue to be a major impediment to development. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts shear will remain moderate, 10 - 15 knots, for the next four days, then fall to the low range. The winds creating the shear are coming from the east, where a tongue of dry air has intruded. These easterly winds will be able to drive the dry air into Gaston's core, disrupting it, unless the storm can find a moister environment. It is also possible that Gaston may be able to protect its core by wrapping moisture around to its east side; recent visible satellite imagery shows a band of moisture wrapping around along Gaston's south side. If this process is successful, Gaston may have a good chance of becoming a tropical depression on Sunday. I suspect there is too much dry air in Gaston's environment for Gaston to develop into a tropical depression today. The atmosphere is moister near the Lesser Antilles Islands, and Gaston has a better chance of developing on Monday when it finds this moister environment. NHC is giving Gaston a 70% chance of regenerating into a tropical depression by Monday. The models are in fairly good agreement bringing Gaston though the central or northern Lesser Antilles Islands on Tuesday. The storm should then slow down and head more to the west-northwest on Wednesday and Thursday, in response to a large trough of low pressure expected to move off the U.S. East Coast. Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic might be at risk of a strike by a reborn Tropical Storm Gaston by Thursday, if the storm follows a more southerly track over the next few days.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Gaston's remains.

Gulf of Mexico disturbance
A concentrated area of heavy thunderstorms has developed over the extreme southwestern Gulf of Mexico, in the Bay of Campeche. This disturbance is under a low 5 - 10 knots of wind shear, and has a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday, according to NHC. The disturbance is headed northwest at 5 - 10 mph, but could turn more to the north-northwest and bring heavy rains to the Texas/Mexico border region on Monday, according to the latest run of the GFS model.

99L
A tropical wave (99L) near the Cape Verdes Islands off the coast of Africa is moving northwestward at about 10 mph. The wave has a bit of spin to it, but not much heavy thunderstorm activity. This system is under moderate wind shear, but is headed towards a region of high wind shear northwest of the Cape Verdes Islands. This shear will very likely destroy the disturbance by Tuesday. NHC is giving 99L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday afternoon.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The GFS and ECMWF models are predicting development 3 - 6 days from now of a tropical wave that hasn't emerged from the coast of Africa yet.

Next post
I'll have an update by 1pm Sunday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Earl Waves (Murko)
Waves from Eleuthera, Bahamas, as Earl passed by as a cat 4 storm. The cliffs are about 30ft high.
Hurricane Earl Waves
Earl The Pearl (teach50)
Went down to Jones Beach again today. The beach was taken over by the power of the waves during high tide.
Earl The Pearl
Hurricane Earl Surf@ Newport RI # 4 (RIWXPhoto)
Hurricane Earl Surf@ Newport RI # 4

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is 99L dead in the water?
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Quoting stormpetrol:

I notice everytime a storm is downgraded to a remnant models are taken off the Wunderground page, regardless of % of development! I seen the model update on TWC and they are in fairly good concensus that it will enter the Eastern Caribbean and track possibly South of PR , not good for us here in The caymans
Do you have a link to the models
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Trivia for those who are interested....
If a troughing pattern sets up for the West coast, what does it mean for the East???
8 to 10 DAY 500MB MEAN
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Quoting BenBIogger:
The 1950 Season had 6 Named Storms formed in October.

Whew Florida got Smacked Up!
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Great shot murko. Aside from the beautiful scenery, looks like you know what you're doing with a camera.
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Quoting Amanda44:
Can anyone tell me how come the colored blobs on the NHC site are not all being labeled as "invests" and how come only one of them is? What is the criteria to become an invest? I have noticed that sometimes the blobs become invests and sometimes they do not.

How come the WU site isn't putting any models up for these new blobs (the one in the Gulf and the one that used to be/may become Gaston)

Can anyone post the models for the orange blob in the Gulf of Mexico? I am in Houston, so wondering if that is going to come up here.

Thanks


I think it is suppose to go towards south texas....
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The eye of Earl is approaching the Magdalen Islands. Very strong gusts here in S. Ontario behind the cold front.
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Quoting Murko:
Woop! Thanks for using my photo above, Dr M :)
Didn't realize earlier that it was your photo but it is beautiful. I love looking at the sea when it gets like that. My husband always tells me I am crazy. When Dean passed us we were on a curfew but I still went out to look at it. Luckily I wasn't caught. LOL
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So what are some of you guys' thoughts on the BOC disturbance????

It looks like it certainly needs to be watched, all be it that is with my untrained eyes....


Any thoughts on this?
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Can anyone tell me how come the colored blobs on the NHC site are not all being labeled as "invests" and how come only one of them is? What is the criteria to become an invest? I have noticed that sometimes the blobs become invests and sometimes they do not.

How come the WU site isn't putting any models up for these new blobs (the one in the Gulf and the one that used to be/may become Gaston)

Can anyone post the models for the orange blob in the Gulf of Mexico? I am in Houston, so wondering if that is going to come up here.

Thanks
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Quoting stormpetrol:

Yep me too and I also pay attention to Kman, you know Kman and I live less than a mile from each other and the first time I met him in person was on Wednesday, he is a very humble and down to earth person, it was a real pleasure to meet him in person.
Year before last when I was banned he Wu-mailed me and asked me if I recognized him and I told him no but of course when he told me his name I knew right away who he was. He is also from East End.
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544. Murko
Woop! Thanks for using my photo above, Dr M :)
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Quoting Chicklit:
Gaston is still up on the Navy site but off WUground and NHC page.
(I'm sitting here doing homework supposedly...)


Yep, NHC still has 80% red hatch though. Have to see if they change it any at 5:00.
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20 would be nice, but i think it will only be about 15 this time around.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
hmmmm where did TD 11E come from???



oh well other TD bit the dust for the E PAC


It was Invest 95, and may be heading into the BoC. Could be that low predicted by some models including GFS.
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Quoting StormSurgeon:


I wouldn't say it's a remnant because it's still a rather healthy Tropical Low with good circulation (albeit moisture starved). Don't know Wunderground removed it because Gaston is still a viable system.
Agreed to me it always had a well defined center, just going by the NHC, they call the shots and admittingly I got to admit they know their stuff
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The 1950 Season had 6 Named Storms formed in October.
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Gaston is still up on the Navy site but off WUground and NHC page.
(I'm sitting here doing homework supposedly...)
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I am keeping a close eye on him and paying attention to what Kman says.

Yep me too and I also pay attention to Kman, you know Kman and I live less than a mile from each other and the first time I met him in person was on Wednesday, he is a very humble and down to earth person, it was a real pleasure to meet him in person.
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Quoting stormpetrol:

I notice everytime a storm is downgraded to a remnant models are taken off the Wunderground page, regardless of % of development! I seen the model update on TWC and they are in fairly good concensus that it will enter the Eastern Caribbean and track possibly South of PR , not good for us here in The caymans


I wouldn't say it's a remnant because it's still a rather healthy Tropical Low with good circulation (albeit moisture starved). Don't know Wunderground removed it because Gaston is still a viable system.
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Quoting JLPR2:


LOL! Will do, but who will remind me? XD
MH09, LOL
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Quoting Tazmanian:
hey is that Taz


Taz, nice photo of you. Been a long long time since you used one of your photos for your avatar.

Glad to see you are here today.
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Models will start to run again when it becomes a TD. It has to have a closed circulation with sustained convection. It will also get a special section on this page at that time.
www.nhc.noaa.gov

And by all means, act "as if." Put together your hurricane plan; make sure you have canned goods, water receptacles, and an evacuation plan for you and your pets. Remember to have some cash handy in case ATM machines are problematic...etc. Patrap probably has good links on his blog about preparation.
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532. JLPR2
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Hey, JLPR, remind me if the blog goes down again never to go to Tropics Chat.


LOL! Will do, but who will remind me? XD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
Quoting stormpetrol:

I notice everytime a storm is downgraded to a remnant models are taken off the Wunderground page, regardless of % of development! I seen the model update on TWC and they are in fairly good concensus that it will enter the Eastern Caribbean and track possibly South of PR , not good for us here in The caymans
I am keeping a close eye on him and paying attention to what Kman says.
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CARIBBEAN SEA AND TROPICAL N ATLC...
SE FLOW CONTINUES AT 15-20 KT ACROSS GULF OF HONDURAS AND E AT
15-20 KT WITH ISOLATED AREAS TO 25 KT ACROSS THE CENTRAL
CARIB...AND THIS SHOULD CONTINUE THROUGH MON. THE REMNANTS OF
GASTON ARE EXPECTED TO ARRIVE IN THE TROPICAL N ATLC WATERS MON
MORNING ALONG ABOUT 16.5N AND MOVE W TOWARDS THE LEEWARDS. WE
CURRENTLY HAVE A VERY CONSERVATIVE FORECAST OF 20-25 KT ACROSS
THE NRN SEMICIRCLE OF THIS LOW...WITH SEAS TO 9 OR 10 FT AS THIS
LOW MOVES THROUGH THE TROPICAL WATERS. HOWEVER...ANY SUSTAINED
CONVECTIVE OUTBURSTS WILL LEAD TO INTENSIFICATION...AND
FORECASTS WILL HAVE TO BE RAMPED UP QUICKLY. THE REMAINDER OF
THE FORECAST IS THUS VERY DEPENDENT ON STRENGTH AND TRACK OF
THIS TROPICAL LOW...SO EXPECT A LOT OF TWEAKING IN EACH FORECAST
PACKAGE OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.


Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 459
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good afternoon srdemonmom, it's actually at 80% now and I wondered the same thing.

I notice everytime a storm is downgraded to a remnant models are taken off the Wunderground page, regardless of % of development! I seen the model update on TWC and they are in fairly good concensus that it will enter the Eastern Caribbean and track possibly South of PR , not good for us here in The caymans
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Wow. That's a lot of storms.


7-8 named storms :)
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agreed
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Quoting kmanislander:


That is true. October could see 3 and Nov. none or one. That would take my total to 15 max.


that was my number as well. Average 1 per week the rest of the way in Sept and then 3 in Oct/Nov.
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Quoting JLPR2:


I go slightly higher 15-16
Hey, JLPR, remind me if the blog goes down again never to go to Tropics Chat.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good afternoon srdemonmom, it's actually at 80% now and I wondered the same thing.


maybe because of the weekend Holiday.....not sure why either.
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I wouldn't be surprised if the NHC upgraded Gaston at 5pm this evening, I think they said in the last TWO it could become a tropical cyclone at anytime!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I believe we'll end this month with the name Nicolle, maybe even Otto.

Wow. That's a lot of storms.
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520. JLPR2
Quoting kmanislander:


I have never thought we would see 20. My number is 14 total


I go slightly higher 15-16
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8459
Quoting srdemonmom:
I am a long time lurker on this site and find most of the bloggers informative and sometimes very funny (when the tropics are slow).

Question:
How come if the NHC has a 70% chance of development - there is no computer models available yet. Need to know if we need to make "major prestorm preparations" now - Live in Northern Gulf Area.
Good afternoon srdemonmom, it's actually at 80% now and I wondered the same thing.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
501



Yup, that shows it.
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has 99L been drop?
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I wouldn't be surprised if the NHC upgraded Gaston at 5pm this evening, I think they said in the last TWO it could become a tropical cyclone at anytime!
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Taking a break now.
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Quoting extreme236:
La Nina should create the distinct possibility for a relatively active October/November period.
october in the caribbean may be super wild if the mojo get to our side.lucky there is a weak a/b high otherwise the us could of gotten clobbered
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I believe we'll end this month with the name Nicolle, maybe even Otto.
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501

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I am a long time lurker on this site and find most of the bloggers informative and sometimes very funny (when the tropics are slow).

Question:
How come if the NHC has a 70% chance of development - there is no computer models available yet. Need to know if we need to make "major prestorm preparations" now - Live in Northern Gulf Area.
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hmmmm where did TD 11E come from???



oh well other TD bit the dust for the E PAC
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Quoting extreme236:
La Nina should create the distinct possibility for a relatively active October/November period.


That is true. October could see 3 and Nov. none or one. That would take my total to 15 max.
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508. JRRP
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Who thinks we'll make it to 20 named storms?

Only 13 more to go.

17
10
6
that´s my numbers
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HPC Day 7





HPC Extended Forecast Discussion

Excerpt:

ECMWF CONTINUES ITS TREND OF STRONGER DEEPER TROF EXTENDING SWD DOWN THAN ATLC COAST AS FAR SOUTH AS NC. THIS AGAIN IS CONSIDERED OVERDONE AS OTHER MODELS/ENSEMBLES/TELECONNECTIONS DO NOT SUPPORT THIS. THIS OVER DEVELOPMENT OF TROFS OVER ERN CANADA AND THE NORTHEAST U.S. HAS BEEN A PERSISTENT MODEL BIAS OF ECMWF.

EASTWARD REMANTS OF TS GASTON REGENERATING AND CARRIED WESTWARD BY
FAIRLY WELL AGREED UPON MODEL GUIDANCE AND HPC/NHC COORDINATION
INTO THE LESSER ANTILLES BY TUESDAY AND REACHING THE EASTERN
GREATER ANTILLES BY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY. SEE NHC DISCUSSIONS AND
FUTURE ADVISORIES.
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My best guess is that SSTs have less affect weakening a storm, then say high wind shear, dry air and EWRCs. I think Earl could have easily remained a strong category three hurricane up the entire east coast even north of the Gulf Stream where SSTs drop to around 70F. I think the combination of dry air suffocating the southern outflow channel of Earl and the eastern side of the hurricane, and wind shear disrupting the inner core of Earl as well as the EWRC weakening him enough to a point where Earl could not ignore his surrounding environment, allowed him to weaken fairly quickly and much more quickly than the NHC or anyone for that matter expected to occur. JB thought that Earl could have one more shot at category five strength, because he seemed unaffected by his surroundings, by strengthening at least to a 145mph hurricane by the time he was east of the northern most Bahama Islands. With the lack of strong inflow of moisture into the eastern and southern semi circles of Earl, there were thoughts of possibly becoming an annular hurricane as he peaked at 928mb. However he maintained the northwestern outflow and northern outflow channel which meant he still had banding features present and therefore was not a solid CDO of convection surrounding a large in diameter eye. So given that the EWRC had allowed the environment to finally get a hold of him, we can thank mother nature for sparing us a major hurricane. Problem is, I don't think she will be there again to prevent another possibly category five hurricane from affecting the US once more. With the supposed over hype that Earl received despite models never really showing a direct hit from Earl, the next time one will come, I don't the public will pay attention once again to a hurricane expected to give large scale impacts to the Eastern US coastline. This complacency hurt NOLA in 2005, and I will bet it will hurt the US East Coast again this season. I think the next time a hurricane threatens the US East Coast, there won't be another upper level trough to save us from a major hurricane. La Nina season, high SSTs still remain over the western Atlantic especially within the Gulf Stream given that Earl did not have enough of a remaining core to take advantage of these warm and deep SSTs present. The next hurricane will be a big one and will not face the same conditions Earl had to deal with. THe next one will have an upper level anticyclone present and will allow ideal strengthening condtions to remain present. Question becomes, what track will the next one take?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I'm 99.9% sure we'll pass 14 named storms.


Remember the Atlantic has been very dry this year and shear continues to be a problem. The CV season may shut down early as it has been very inhospitable out there generally.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.