Earl weakens a bit; watch extended to Canada
The National Hurricane Center is reporting at 2 p.m. Thursday that Hurricane Earl's top sustained winds have slowed to near 125 mph as it continues to spin north toward a brush with North Carolina's Outer Banks.
Hurricane Warnings are posted for the North Carolina coast, and for Southeastern Massachusetts, from Westport, around Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket to Hull, on the south side of Boston Harbor.
A Hurricane Watch remains in place for the mid-Atlantic coast from the Virginia/N.C. line to Cape Henlopen, Del., and for parts of Nova Scotia.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in place from the N.C/Va. line to Sandy Hook, N.J., including Delaware Bay and the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay.
Earl was expected to contune to weaken as wind shear and cooler waters take their toll. But it is likely to remain a dangerous storm as it nears the Carolina coast and Delmarva Peninsula, forecasters said. Hurricane-force winds extend 90 miles from the eye of the storm. tropical-storm-force winds extend as far as 230 miles from the center.
The coastal regions of the Eastern Shore are expected to see the worst of Earl's power. Tropical-storm-force winds may be felt as soon as late tonight or early Friday morning. The forecast for Ocean City calls for east winds to increase to 17 to 22 mph late tonight, and 33 to 43 mph Friday, with gusts to 55 mph.
Battering waves could rise to 18 feet, with a storm surge of 3 to 5 feet in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Rainfall at the resorts could total 1 to 2 inches.
The forecast for the Baltimore area for tonight and Friday remains pleasant.
At 2 p.m. Thursday, Earl's center was reported to be 245 miles south of Cape Hatteras, moving to the north at 18 mph. Here is the latest advisory on Earl. Here is the forecast storm track. And here is the view from space.