Friday, September 3, 2010

Hurricane Watch: Weakening Earl May Visit Nantucket Over Holiday Weekend

From Wunderblog:
Category 2 Earl Heads for Cape Cod

Hi, Dr. Rob Carver with your early-morning blog update. Earl is starting to pass the Outer Banks, all tropical warnings south of Cape Lookout, NC have been discontinued, and the hurricane watch for North Carolina has been canceled. Looking at our METAR history page, it is apparent the low pressure center of Earl is now moving away from Cape Hatteras.

As of 500AM EDT, Earl is still a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 105 mph. From the advisory, Earl is located at 35.3 N, 74.0 W, 85 miles east of Cape Hatteras, NC and 465 miles south-southwest of Nantucket, MA. On average, Earl is currently moving north-northeast at 20 mph. The minimum central pressure is now 955 mb. Data from TRMM (Fig. 1) and WSR-88D radar data (Fig. 2) show that Earl's eye is large and poorly-defined.

Even though Earl's winds are declining, he still covers a very large area. Hurricane force winds extend 70 miles from the storm center and tropical storm force winds can be found 205 miles away. 12 foot seas extend at least 220 nmi from the center in all directions and may reach out to 420 nmi in the southeast quadrant of the storm. The most recent wind field analysis (930PM EDT) shows that the winds associated with Earl are weakening. Earl's integrated kinetic energy is 74 TJ, with a wind impact of 2.5 out of 6 and a storm surge impact of 4.3 out of 6.

Track/Intensity Forecast

NHC has not altered their track forecast for this update. Now that Earl has been captured by the trough, it will accelerate off to the northeast towards Nova Scotia. At the same time, shear from the trough and cooler surface waters continue to weaken Earl. This forecast weakening calls for Earl to be a category 1 storm when he passes Cape Cod this afternoon and when he makes landfall in Nova Scotia tomorrow....

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