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September 1, 2010

Earl weakens slightly, still dangerous

Weather UndergroundHurricane Earl, still on track to sweep the U.S. East Coast from North Carolina northward starting Thursday night, was downgraded slightly this morning to a strong Cat. 3 hurricane. 

Top sustained winds near the center of the storm were still blowing at 125 mph. Earl's center was located 815 miles south southeast of Cape Hatteras, moving to the northwest at 16 mph.

The forecast storm track would put Earl off the Outer Banks at 2 a.m. Friday, still at "major" Cat. 3 power. 

One of the forecast computer models, shown in the map from Weather Underground at left, sends the storm ashore near Wilmington and north directly across Delmarva.

Hurricane Watches, already posted for the Outer Banks, from Surf City, N.C. to the Virginia border, were extended overnight to include the Virginia coastline to Parramore Island on the Virginia portion of the Eastern Shore.

Here's the forecast for Ocean City, where tropical storm conditions are possible late Thursday and Friday.

The Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions - with winds of 74 mph or higher - were possible within 36 hours.

Here is the latest advisory on Earl.

Here is the forecast storm track.

And here is the view from orbit.



Posted by Frank Roylance at 7:15 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Hurricanes



If the NGFDL model pans out, and the hurricane comes ashore near Wilimgton and moves North to Delmarva, what do you think the impact would be to central Maryland?

FR: Worst-case scenario would be a track taking the center of the storm west of the Chesapeake. That would drive water up the bay, producing Isabel-like flooding. But that model seems to take the storm east of the bay. That would drive water out of the bay, but leave us with lots of wind and rain, downed trees, power outages. Worst hit would be on the Eastern Shore. Most likely track keeps the storm off Delmarva, leaving us (Central Maryland) with a few clouds but little else to worry about.

Looking at the latest visible satellite imagery, if this storm reaches 77 degrees west, (which is only 5 more degrees west from its current position), and then turns north, the NGFDL model will be the winner with the scenario you mentioned, (Isabel redux). Its a race with the front :)

The 11am advisory posted a position of 25.1, 72.1 which from the 8am position shows this sotrm is still moving more west then northwest. Dang this is a nail biter :)

Whose model is the purple one, the one that has the storm taking a drunken left turn when it hits Quebec?

Hi Frank,

And it appears Gaston is spinning up in the conga line.

Fran In Baltimore

My experience in watching the hurricane models over the past 10 years or so always has one extreme West and one Extreme East model. The NFGDL model is more predictive of intensity than path. I would follow the ensemble model which keeps it about 70 miles offshore. Of course there is some wishful thinking in there also.

Katrina taught us that it is best to be on the side of caution.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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