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September 2, 2010

OC wind forecast increases; Earl stays offshore

NOAA Hurricane Earl 

Hurricane Earl continued on a northward course Thursday that should put the Cat. 4 storm off the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay by 8 a.m. Friday. Forecasters say the storm will begin to weaken, but its wind field will expand.

That might account for the increase in wind speeds forecast for Ocean City Thursday night and Friday. National Weather Service forecasters in Wakefield, Va. now say the Maryland resort should prepare for east winds to increase to between 17 and 22 mph tonight, with gusts to 28 mph.

On Friday, forecasters said, winds at the resorts should swing around to the north as the storm pulls abreast of the Delmarva Peninsula, increasing to between 33 and 43 mph, with tropical-storm-force gusts to 55 mph. As much as an inch of rain is forecast for Ocean City during the period. The chances the resort will experience tropical-storm force winds during the storm were put at 59 percent.

Rough surf and dangerous currents are a given, as battering waves rise to a predicted 14 to 18 feet. (Baltimore's forecast, by the way, remains just fine.)

A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch remain in effect for the Maryland and Delaware costs and the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay.

The brunt of Hurricane Earl's power is expected to be felt in eastern North Carolina, and in southeastern Massachusetts, where Hurricane Warnings are posted. Nantucket Island is being warned to expect winds of 80 mph and gusts to 105 Friday night.

At 11 a.m., the center of Hurricane Earl was located about 300 miles south of Cape Hatteras, moving to the north at 18 mph. An increase in speed and a turn to the north northeast were both expected on Friday. The storm's top sustained winds were estimated at 140 mph. A slow weakening is expected as the storm moves into a region of increased wind shear and cooler waters.

Here is the latest advisory on Earl. Here is the forecast storm track. And here is the view from space

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:10 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Hurricanes


If EARL skirts the coast...

The Storm Surge will be Much Worse than the Wind!

Pushing Ocean into Chesapeake will Submerge shore by 2 to 6 feet of Ocean salt water, and up Potomac into Foggy Bottom (called swampy bottom).

FR: The forecast calls for only minor coastal flooding - 1 to 3 feet - early Friday in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake. The lower bay could see 3 to 5 feet of surge.

The 2pm advisory and the satellite imagery shows that Earl has moved west another 0.4 degrees from the 11am advisory, (It was at 74.8west, now it is 75.2. Washington DC is at 77west, only, 1.8 degrees west of the hurricane's current position, (1.8 degrees west is about 100 miles)). Also, the storm is still not moving northeast or even due north yet. Hence, if something in the atomosphere causes a wobble to the west from its current position, we are going to have alot to deal with.

As per tracking models, not one NHC model stated Earl would go any further west then 75.0w its now at 75.2w, that is quite interesting. I know they all have a margin of error, but the fact that none of the models have taken the storm as west as it is currently situated could be an omen.

FR: I think Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket have more to worry about than Maryland. Wonder if New Bedford will close the big hurricane barrier.

I still miss the old days in my meteorology classes in 1984 when we plotted hurricane projected paths using only water vapor, sounding data and satellite imagery :) No computer models, just raw science. i drove my college girlfriend nuts with all my charts...

FR: Imagine trying to do it with telegraph and radio reports from remote islands and ships. These guys have it pretty easy.

Now the computers play much more huge role in forecasting.

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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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