Earl brings breezy, showery forecast to Ocean City
Beach-goers should expect cloudy, breezy and showery weather to greet them Friday when they step out for the day in Ocean City. Unless the forecast changes in the coming days, Hurricane Earl is expected to pass well off the resort's beaches. The rest of the weekend looks fine, with sunny skies and highs near 80 degrees.
But there may be plenty of action in the surf until the storm departs, with rough waves and increased danger from rip currents facing anyone contemplating a dip in the Atlantic. A "moderate" rip current risk was already posted for the beaches on Tuesday.
The National Hurricane Center said late Tuesday morning that Earl continued to move away from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Heavy rains, battering waves and tropical-storm-force winds were all forecast to diminish today in the U.S. possessions as the storm continued to depart.
Those same hazards were expected to increase farther west in the Turks & Caicos Islands, where a Tropical Storm Warning was posted. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the eastern Bahamas.
At 11 a.m. EDT, Earl's center was located 200 miles east of Grand Turk Island, moving to the west northwest at 14 mph. Maximum sustained winds were estimated at 135 mph, with higher gusts. Earl remains a Category 4 hurricane.
The forecast track at 11 a.m. shows a Cat. 3 Earl off Delmarva by 8 a.m. Friday, accelerating toward the north northeast. The National Hurricane Center estimates a 28 percent chance that Ocean City will experience 34-knot winds (39 mph) or higher by late Thursday or early Friday.
The Ocean City forecast from the NWS forecast office in Wakefield, Va., calls for "mostly cloudy and breezy" weather Thursday night, with a 40 percent chance of showers, continuing until noon Friday, when the storm is forecast to pull away to the northeast. The balance of the holiday looks great at the shore.
For those of us stuck here in the Baltimore area, the forecast is all clear for the long weekend, with sunny weather and highs dropping from the low 90s into the low 80s.