Earl weakens slightly, still dangerous
Hurricane 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.