Close Shave: Will Earl make U.S. landfall?

Hurricane forecasters are sweating this one.

Major Hurricane Earl is making the turn toward the northwest, and headed directly for the Carolina Coast today. The “official” forecast is for Earl to turn north tomorrow and narrowly miss the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The track is so close that any jog to the west in the Earl’s track could mean a direct hit on either the Outer Banks, or further up the East Coast toward Nantucket Island.

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Earl has undergone an “eyewall replacement cycle” today. That means the eye has temporarily disappeared, but is likely to reform overnight. Earl could emerge as an even stronger storm when the latest eyewall replacement cycle is complete.

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Hurricane Earl going through eyewall replacement. Note the dense line of clouds fanning out west of Earl. This is a low level “outflow boundary” generated by Earl. Loop courtesy University of Wisconsin CIMSS Satellite Blog.

Here are the latest stats on Earl from the NHC:

BULLETIN

HURRICANE EARL ADVISORY NUMBER 26…AMENDED

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072010

500 PM AST TUE AUG 31 2010

AMENDED TO UPDATE HURRICANE WATCH AREA

…LARGE AND INTENSE HURRICANE EARL CHURNING NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE

ATLANTIC…PASSING WELL EAST OF THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS…

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST…2100 UTC…INFORMATION

———————————————-

LOCATION…22.0N 68.8W

ABOUT 150 MI…245 KM ENE OF GRAND TURK ISLAND

ABOUT 1000 MI…1605 KM SSE OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…135 MPH…215 KM/HR

PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/HR

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…940 MB…27.76 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

——————–

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

A HURRICANE WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED

STATES FROM NORTH OF SURF CITY NORTH CAROLINA TO THE NORTH

CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER…INCLUDING THE PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE

SOUNDS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM CAPE FEAR NORTH CAROLINA

NORTHEASTWARD TO SURF CITY.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…

* NORTH OF SURF CITY NORTH CAROLINA TO THE NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA

BORDER…INCLUDING THE PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE SOUNDS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…

* TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR…

* SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS

* CAPE FEAR TO SURF CITY

INTERESTS FROM VIRGINIA NORTHWARD TO NEW ENGLAND SHOULD MONITOR

THE PROGRESS OF EARL.

Intensity forecasts keep Earl as a major hurricane for about the next 24 to 36 hours, with some gradual weakening after that as it approaches cooler waters.

Bottom line? The next 24 to 48 hours will be critical to watch for any changes in Earl’s track, and to see how an upper level trough moving in from the west will recurve of Earl to the north.

As we say in the news and weather biz….stay tuned.

Temperature Shock Ahead: September chill Friday

You may be wondering what happened to summer by Friday. The strongest cold front of the season will plow through by Friday. After bouts of rain Thursday, temperatures may not climb out of the 60s Friday with a blustery northwest wind.

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Friday could be the coolest day since June 13th when the metro reached 67 degrees!

It’s going to feel like September out at the Fair Friday. The weather will mellow this weekend, and it looks like we’ll warm back through the 70s to near 80 by Labor Day.

PH

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