Thread: OT: Hurricane Earl
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09-01-2010, 08:08 PM
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Hurricane Earl

Seeing as most of the area has been placed under Tropical Storm watches and warnings, I figured this thread would be relevant here. If there's a problem, go ahead and delete it if needed.

Just a little precursor to everything, I'm going to go out and say this with fair ease, "The threat is there".

Despite the media and news aboard the safe train the last few days, I've been paying close attention to Earl and his development since last Friday or so. For some reason, I've had this gut feeling that this was going to be a threat for the East Coast since then, there's a lot of factors that are coming together/there/have been there that have been signaling that it might be.

To keep this simplistic and more enjoyable, I'll try to avoid going too in depth. I'll start off with current warnings and images of Earl and break it down to possible scenarios.

Current Watches and warnings:

Current Water Vapor:

Current Sat IR:

(Noting that these images will update as they're updated from their sites, makes it easier if people just want to refer to this thread for a quick update)

Current Forecast track via NOAA/NWS

Quick breakdown of my thoughts and feelings:

@8PM this afternoon the Nation Weather Service released an update stating Earl is back up to a Category 4 hurricane, with an Estimated central pressure of around 941mb and winds sustained at 135MPH.
Looking over the data of Recon plane missions that have been on set schedules, the last recent update has Earl sitting at a pressure of 932 mb, a staggering 9mb drop, which if you don't know, is quite a drop within an hours time. My feelings by looking at the sat images and radar is that Earl is rapidly intensifying currently. I would not be surprised to see him hit Category 5 of the scale sometime tonight, if things are working out as they are now.

There is one/two major influences on the track of Earl at this moment, and I'm totally disregarding the computer models for guidance at this point. 1) Is a trough (cold front) moving through the MidWest right now, which will have the most influence on Earl. In the early stages of it's development, it looked as if the trough would make way to the coast and sweep Earl out to sea. Currently, it's not looking like it will. The trough has slowed down (something the Danielle going out to sea has caused, a severe -NAO, which creates a block over the northern atlantic + the ridge we currently have which has been weakening due to the trough) and is still over the midwest. Here's a current image of where it's located:

The timing of the trough will be crucial to whether or not Earl recurves out to sea or not after making a close call with North Carolina. However, there's a few things to factor in or think about in the meantime.

A simpler version of my thoughts are:

A) If the trough doesn't make it's way through the country fast enough, Earl will come close or make Landfall in NC. Afterwards, slowly veer N and up the coast. This is probably Bad Situation number #2, in terms of severity to the coast and it's residents.

B) The trough tilts negatively. Not that this is completely likely to happen, but if a trough tilts negatively it's by all means a bad sign with a hurricane. This will allow Earl to make landfall in the Tristate area. This is bad situation #1 in terms of everything that could go wrong.

C) What is most likely, which I don't like saying that, because there are still other factors in play that need time to unfold before saying that this is likely, is that Earl takes a path slightly west of what the track above says (the NWS track) and we all see Tropical Storm force winds and rain bands from Earl. LI and Mass get the worst of it, maybe Hurricane conditions.

What's making me lean towards being doubtful of the "most likely" scenario is Earl's strength. Major hurricanes and stronger systems, especially "Annular Hurricanes", which I'm not saying Earl is, but he is showing signs of possibly being one, tend to disregard what would happen "normally". Interactions with fronts and dry air would fall into this category.

Basically what it comes down to is the track. Keep an eye out and check up on the warnings and watches that are posted. I'll try to give this another update or few before Friday.

Feel free to ask questions (if I can answer them ) or comments. Just to put this out there, by all means I am not a professional Meteorologist. I'm going to school for Meteorology and hopefully majoring in it, but more or less this is from a semi-knowledgeable weather enthusiast. Don't want to sound like I'm a Pro-Met or anything.

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