Hurricane Earl Upgraded To Category 3, Expected To Graze New York

Tyler Durden's picture

Hurricane Earl has just been upgraded to a Category 3 storm, and the National Hurricane Center now predicts that after striking the Carribean islands of Barbuda, St. Barthelemy, Anguilla, and St. Maartin in the northernmost Lesser Antilles Islands tonight and Monday morning, the storm is likely to graze the Eastern seaboard from Virginia all the way to Maine, including New York, beginning on Friday and continuing into Saturday.

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It's time to make final
preparations and get ready to ride out the storm if you live in the
northern Lesser Antilles Islands tonight, as Hurricane Earl
is on your doorstep. Earl continues to intensify steadily, though not
explosively. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft found a central
pressure of 972 mb at 7:38 pm EDT. This is a significant drop of 13 mb
in ten hours. As is usually the case, it takes six or so hours for a
hurricane's winds to respond to a major pressure change, and Earl's
winds are now beginning to ramp up. Top flight level winds at 10,000
feet seen by the Air Force were 106 mph. Using the usual rule of thumb
that the surface winds are 90% of the 10,000 foot flight level winds
gives one surface winds of 97 mph, which is right at the border of Cat
1/ Cat 2 strength. Top winds seen at the surface by the Air Force's SFMR
instrument were lower, 78 mph, but a NOAA research P-3 in the storm
recently saw surface winds of 88 mph. I expect that the Air Force will
be measuring Cat 2 surface winds before their mission is over tonight. Martinique radar
shows that Earl has a large, 35 mile wide eye. Earl initially formed a
smaller eye, but this collapsed almost immediately, and the larger
diameter eyewall took over--kind of an instant eyewall replacement cycle
right as the eye initially formed, something I don't recall ever seeing
before. The latest eye report from 7:38 pm EDT showed that the
temperature difference from outside the eye to inside the eye had
increased from 3°C to 8°C in just 1 1/2 hours. This is a huge spike in
temperature, and indicates that Earl may be on the verge of a period of
more rapid deepening, which will likely carry it to Category 3 or 4
strength by Monday night. Recent satellite imagery
shows the storm is lopsided, with much more intense thunderstorm
activity on the southern side. This is due to 10 knots of wind shear
from strong northerly upper level winds, courtesy of the outflow from
Hurricane Danielle. This shear has steadily decreased today, and will
continue to decrease tonight and Monday.

Figure 1. Radar image of Earl taken at 8:45 pm AST. Image credit: Meteo France.

Track forecast for Earl
Latest radar animations out of Martinique and St. Maarten
show that the eye of Earl is on track to pass just to the northeast of
the islands of Barbuda, St. Barthelemy, Anguilla, and St. Maartin in the
northernmost Lesser Antilles Islands tonight and Monday morning. Since
the eye is so wide, it appears that portions of the southern eyewall
will pass over these islands. The southern eyewall is where the NOAA
aircraft just measured 88 mph winds, so Barbuda could well see sustained
winds of 90 mph for a period of up to two hours, since the storm is
moving near 14 mph and has a 35-mile wide eye. Since Earl will probably
start intensifying rapidly in the next few hours, Anguilla, the last
island in the path of Earl's southern eyewall, could see sustained winds
near 95 - 105 mph between 7am - 9am AST. These are worst-case
scenarios, and hopefully Earl's southern eyewall will barely miss these
islands, bringing winds just below hurricane force.

The latest
set of model runs (18Z, 2pm EDT) show Earl shooting the gap between
Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast over the next five days, and none of the
models take Earl ashore over the U.S. North Carolina is now outside the
cone of uncertainty. Recall that the average error in a 5-day track
forecast is about 300 miles, so it is still too early to be confident
Earl will miss the U.S. The most likely landfall location, were Earl to
hit the U.S., would be Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A more likely landfall
location appears to be Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, but it is too early
to say which province is most at risk.

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docj's picture

Awesome - I'll be camping with my family in Rhode Island this weekend.

Better bring a chain...

schoolsout's picture

Will be camping on a barrier island just north of Charleston, SC...


In the process of battening down the hatches just in case...Still remember Hugo...was supposed to miss us, but decided to take a hard left and crush us. 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

You might want to reconsider this weekend, chain or not. If the hurricane tracks a few miles westward little Rhody is a bulls-eye.

Shades of "38". :>)

docj's picture

I "rode out" the winter equivalent of a mild hurricane in 1993 as a mobilized Nat'l Guardsman during a massive winter nor'easter (18" of snow in like 4-hours, 60-mph winds, you get the picture).

That's not something I'm inclined to again do in my older and allagedly wiser years, dontchaknow.

On the upside, we're not supposed to leave for camping until Saturday morning.  So, assuming the campsite isn't destroyed, we should have no trouble finding downed limbs to use as firewood, right?

augmister's picture

Yeah, just what Lil' Rhody needs, major disaster II...remember the spring floods and how "helpful" the Feds were...yer on yer own!  Parents went through the 'Cane of '38 and if it hits the RI coast, disaster, with all the easing of codes to build those McMansions by the sea.  Gonna grab a coup of Gerrie cans for added fuel so if the trees go down the the power goes out for a couple of weeks, we can flush the toilet...  I can see the bread and milk disappearing after Wednesday from the grocery stores.   Water temp is in the 70's so New England is ripe for a knockdown.

Please G-d, hit Washington, D.C.!

StychoKiller's picture

In my movie, a hurricane sits over D.C. for a week, leaving nothing but a large lake and snapped-off trees in its wake.

Hang The Fed's picture

I remember that one in Jersey, we ended up with about a foot of ice on everything and no power for about two weeks. 

Mongo's picture

Hurricanes bitchez!

Ruth's picture

OY!  just wait til INVEST gets here!  Pure Irony?!

 False Alarm:  INVEST Tropical Wave has died, unless the Fed intervenes!

Sudden Debt's picture

I always thought hurricanes where called after woman...

ptoemmes's picture

I went through Andrew in 1992 - anniversary was a week ago.

That hurricane HAD balls:

Went to bed with it aimed north of us in Ft. Lauderdale, but we expected the landfall.  Woke up and "they" had lost it.  Found it have leveled south of Miami - about a 100 mile swing south overnight.

Forecasting has gotten a bit better.



Both Andrew and Katrina hit South Florida and lower Gulf Coast - but inverse strengths.




Turd Ferguson's picture

This link is for the 10-day GFS computer model. Very, very close to NYC.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

That's called an "expected" close shave. Now let's see how reality plays out.

firstdivision's picture

A straight slam into NYC would be quite devistating for the city. 

Turd Ferguson's picture

If that trough over Hudson's Bay picks it up a little earlier than expected, it may come straight in. Its going to be extremely close. 

The only upside is how disruptive it will be for all the prop desk criminals who had planned on tearing it up out on the island over Labor Day weekend. 

Mitchman's picture

As a resident, it might be nice to see if we can finally get the streets clean.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

A hose connected to a handy fire hydrant or hurricane does tend to scour out all those stubborn cracks and crevasses where the scum and slime congregates. Don't forget the tooth brush for the fine detail work. :>)

ptoemmes's picture

Maybe...later in the week we can (also) start looking at the storm surge potential and start factoring for high-low tides.



Henry Chinaski's picture

The past 48 hours of forecasts were done by the weekend crew.  Now that its Monday, the 1st squad of forecasters is on deck and the forecasts could be revised signifantly at 11am.  ...or not...

LoneStarHog's picture

Earl, your list of things to hit - Pahleze!: CFTC, SEC, FED, Capitol, Whore Street

bada boom's picture

Maybe they should nuke it.  I hear that is the answer to everything.

firstdivision's picture

But if they nuke it in the eye, it would only result in a quick orgasim followed by several smaller hurricanes...cause I believe hurricanes have litters.  Maybe we should first put a condom on the nuke?

Sudden Debt's picture

I've heard Benny B. is printing 4 trillion $ and he'll drop it into the eye of the hurricane so the money will get into the economy fast.

I wonder how many chinook's he'll need to do the job...

Headbanger's picture

Generators bitchez!



yabs's picture

maybe QE and  fiscal stimulus help

Print enough and i'm sure it will go away

if not just think of all the roofs that need repairing

and people stocking up on food and I pads.

should cause a spike in the S and P

newstreet's picture

Off to Nantucket!

Turd Ferguson's picture

I once knew someone from there...

GIANTKILR's picture

This economy was in full recovery mode until Earl hit!

Sudden Debt's picture

The US should declare war on El Ninio!

Ancona's picture

I wonder how long it has been since a hurricane of any significance hit New York City?


You thought Katrina was a mess?



Sudden Debt's picture

2004 : Day after tomorrow.

don't you read the history books? The coverage was even in the cinema's and you can now even buy it on dvd!

justtotaketheedgeoff's picture

Now, now, y'all know what to do.  Flashlights, batteries, fill CLEAN bathtubs and washers with water, make extra ice and put it in ziploc bags to pop into a cooler later, cars full of gas, non-perishable food in the pantry. Get out of Dodge if they tell you to. If you stay, get as far away from windows and exterior walls as you can. You guys know the drill.  It will be good practice for the zombie apocalypse that everyone is expecting.

Henry Chinaski's picture

I have been through a few storms.  The panic shopping and shortages are sometimes more of a hassle than the weather. Keep your vehicle topped off, get extra cash, food, water etc.  Do that now before the rush.  Then if the storm actually hits, you can spend the final preparation hours working on other stuff while everybody else is standing in line. 

Ancona's picture

I have also been through a number of storms, and pre-preparation is critical. We [stupidly] rode out Andrew south of Miami, then moved to Central Florida only to get slammed a few years later by Charley, Francis and Jean.


If you do not have a whole house generator living south of Jacksonville, you are asking for misery. We were without power for four weeks after C,F and J but had power the whole time. A five hundred gallon underground propane tank and 11Kw generator kept us pretty comfortable the whole time. We were actually able to refill the tank after two weeks.


For most of the time, we had the only hot water in the entire neighborhood, and our Bar-b-que never ran out of fuel.


Now, we regularly hear peoples generators kicking on during the one-month test cycles. There are probably ten or twelve others who did like my family and installed one.

chistletoe's picture

No mention of 1938.

Y'all are so young.


Well, fortunately, history seldom repeats ....

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I beg your pardon. :>)



by Cognitive Dissonance
on Mon, 08/30/2010 - 09:12


You might want to reconsider this weekend, chain or not. If the hurricane tracks a few miles westward little Rhody is a bulls-eye.

Shades of "38". :>)

PlausibleDenial's picture

I grew up in Miami, hurricanes were common.  The only thing I see missing here is plenty of alcohol and endo for the upcoming parties.  You know there will some that just have to stay and parteee.  Isn't that how they party in the Hamptons?

Henry Chinaski's picture

I almost put booze on the list of preps but figured it would be like putting "remember to breathe" on the list.

Absinthe Minded's picture

As an employee at an ice and water shield manufacturer, blow baby blow! We are actually having a decent year, must be people fixing roofs now that they can't just by new houses because they need a new roof. Kind of like trading your car in because it needs new tires. Although business has been really boom and bust. $1M below projections one month, $1M above projections the next. I really thought they were smoking crack when I saw their projections for the year, but we're pretty close. I bet year end is a different story though, but I'm not hoping for it. I'm ready though, being in NH I've got guns, ammo, PM's and lots of friends with gardens all around me. Hell I've even got a dairy farm a mile up the road. Gonna start buying direct from him to make the connection. Good luck with Earl, I doubt it will hit anything though, we just don't get hurricanes up here anymore. Last winters ice storm was miserable though, and we did get 80 MPH winds from that. Six days without power, thank God for the generator.

Sausagemaker's picture

Even with Super-Doppler 10,000 they don't have NOAA doesn't have a clue where its going. If you want to know where i the worst is going to be, turn on the Weather Channel and see where Jim Cantore sets up shop.

firstdivision's picture

This: plus if this hurricane hits NYC could bode quite well for my GS puts :)

mrdenis's picture

I live at the Jersey shore ,the next best thing to a good old noreaster is a hurricane  barreling up the coast ! 

Theta_Burn's picture

As do I, looks like another $100mil in beach replenishment contracts on deck for next spring

Hang The Fed's picture

I hear that beach replenishment around here is one of Bennah and Timmah's favorite projects, both for its ability to burn money and its utter futility.

Hang The Fed's picture

Right there with ya.  Maybe we'll get lucky and all the landfill sherpas that are down here visiting will be washed out to sea.  Of course, we'd probably have to hit the ocean with some Corexit to break up all the hair product and tanning oil that would be left floating in the water.

DonS's picture

This is a pretty cool link from NOAA where you can click on the weather buoys and get the wave height, direction and wave period. as this comes closer we should see 20+ foot waves

JohnKing's picture

Hurricane warnings = Home Depot promo

Crispy's picture

Montauk points going off BITCHEZ!!!


Surf it...