Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Earl Turns As Expected - Watches Issued for U.S. Coast

At 4pm CDT...the center of Hurricane Earl was located about 150 miles East/Northeast of Grand Turk Island.  This position is also about 1,000 miles South/Southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Maximum sustained winds are estimated at 135 mph...which is no change from the earlier advisory.

Earl has made the expected turn toward the Northwest...at a current speed of 14 mph.  This general motion is expected to continue for the next 24-36 hours...with a turn more toward the North/Northwest expected thereafter.

Hurricane force winds currently extend outward up to 90 miles from the center.  Tropical Storm force winds currently extend outward up to 200 miles from the center.  

For the last several days we've been posting that a trough of low pressure is expected to develop over the Great Lakes region by late week.  This trough would force Earl to turn more toward the Northeast, out to sea.  Timing of the development of this trough is critical.  The latest computer model runs continue to slow the development of this trough, which means Earl has more time to move Westward toward the middle and upper Atlantic coast before making the turn.

The latest run of the GFS Model, which has been quite accurate so far this hurricane season, is currently forecasting Earl to track very near the North Carolina coast on Friday....

...and Cape Cod in Massachusetts late Friday/early Saturday....

Assuming Tropical Storm and Hurricane force winds extend outward from the center of Earl at least as far as they are now...deteriorating conditions can be expected in these areas late Thursday through Saturday.  With this in mind, Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches have been posted for the outer banks of North Carolina.  This means that Tropical Storm and/or Hurricane force winds are possible within 48 hours.

Residents along the East Coast from North Carolina through New England 
should remain alert and monitor the latest updated forecasts, watches and warnings concerning Earl.

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