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Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 09/ 2/2010

Earl threatens coast from N.C. to New England

By Capital Weather Gang

* Awaiting weekend relief: Full Forecast | BeachCast *
* Hurricane Tracking Center | Warmest summer on record *
* Earl Q & As for Outer Banks to VA/MD/DE | Live chat at 1 p.m. *


Infrared satellite image of Hurricane Earl this afternoon, as the center gets closer to the Carolina coast. Credit: NASA.

Earlier we focused a series of Q & As on the potential impacts of Hurricane Earl from the DE/MD/VA beaches and south to the Outer Banks, N.C.. As the Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds continues to advance northward -- it is now the third strongest Atlantic hurricane on record this far north in U.S. coastal waters, according to Jeff Masters at Weather Underground -- let's take a look at conditions expected along the coast from Delaware/New Jersey toward points north. We'll start north in New England, which may see the worst impacts of anyone in the Northeast, and then work our way south.

What can New England and New York expect?

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for much of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island coast. From CWG's Andrew Freedman:

Earl is currently projected to pass very close to the island of Nantucket on Friday night. Although most computer models predict the center of the storm will stay offshore by about 30 miles, that is far too close for comfort, and close enough to bring hurricane-force sustained winds to the island.
The wind field of this storm may expand as the storm weakens and races past New England, so much of southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and eastern Long Island will likely experience tropical storm-force winds (39 to 73 mph) from Earl. New York City will probably be far enough away from the storm's center to escape with just a period of breezy and rainy weather on Friday. Downeast Maine may even get clipped by hurricane-force wind gusts, depending on how close Earl comes.

Keep reading for more on Earl's potential impact as it moves up the coast...

The projected storm track would spare Boston from hurricane-force sustained winds, but would soak the city with two to three inches of rain or more, and winds of around 40 miles per hour (and possibly stronger than that) on Friday night. The rain and winds will be more intense the further southeast you go, with hurricane warnings in effect for Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
Note that if Earl tracks directly over or to the northwest of Nantucket, the impacts on that island as well as Cape Cod would be considerably more severe, and hurricane-force winds would make a run at Boston's southern suburbs. If the track shifts further offshore, then the impacts on the Cape would be reduced.
The bottom line is that this could be a damaging storm for parts of southern New England, with tree and powerline damage, beach erosion and coastal flooding, as well as some structural damage likely, depending on the storm track and intensity. While Earl is not a worst-case hurricane scenario for New England, it should still be taken very seriously.

The National Weather Service in Boston has more here.

How about southeastern New York, northeastern New Jersey and southern Connecticut in particular?

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for much of this area. From the National Weather Service in NYC:

HURRICANE EARL IS FORECAST TO PASS ABOUT 150 MILES SOUTHEAST OF LONG ISLAND FRIDAY EVENING. THE GREATEST LOCAL IMPACTS FROM EARL ARE EXPECTED ACROSS EASTERN LONG ISLAND...THE ADJACENT WATERS AND POTENTIALLY SOUTHEASTERN CONNECTICUT.

...PROBABILITY OF TROPICAL STORM/HURRICANE CONDITIONS...
THE CHANCE FOR TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS AT THIS TIME IS 57 PERCENT. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE MOST LIKELY TO BEGIN FRIDAY AFTERNOON.

...WINDS...
AS HURRICANE EARL APPROACHES...SUSTAINED TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN LATE FRIDAY AFTERNOON. MAXIMUM WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BE IN THE 30 TO 40 MPH RANGE WITH GUSTS AS HIGH AS 60 MPH. MINOR DAMAGE MAY OCCUR. RESIDENTS SHOULD MOVE LOOSE ITEMS INDOORS...SUCH AS GARBAGE CANS AND OUTDOOR FURNITURE...AS THEY WILL BE BLOWN AROUND. ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE.

...STORM SURGE AND STORM TIDE...
AS HURRICANE EARL MAKES ITS CLOSEST APPROACH TO THE COAST...THERE IS AN INCREASING CHANCE FOR COMBINED STORM SURGE AND ASTRONOMICAL TIDE WATERS TO CAUSE MINOR COASTAL FLOOD INUNDATION.

THE LOCATIONS MOST LIKELY TO REALIZE MINOR COASTAL FLOODING INCLUDE THE SHORELINES ADJACENT TO LONG ISLAND SOUND AND PECONIC AND GARDINERS BAY.

...COASTAL HAZARDS...
LARGE WAVES FRIDAY INTO THE WEEKEND WILL CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL BEACH EROSION...WITH WASHOVERS POSSIBLE.

What's expected for the Delaware/New Jersey coast?

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect. From the National Weather Service in Mt. Holly, Pa.:

IT APPEARS LIKELY THAT TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS WILL AFFECT THE COASTAL AREAS OF DELAWARE AND NEW JERSEY...ALONG WITH ROUGH SEAS AND HIGH SURF.

...PROBABILITY OF TROPICAL STORM/HURRICANE CONDITIONS...
THE CHANCE FOR HURRICANE CONDITIONS AT THIS TIME IS VERY SMALL. ALSO...THE CHANCE FOR TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS AT THIS TIME IS UP TO 56 PERCENT.

...WINDS...
AS HURRICANE EARL APPROACHES...SUSTAINED TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN LATE THURSDAY NIGHT OR FRIDAY MORNING AND LAST INTO FRIDAY. MINOR DAMAGE MAY OCCUR TO OLDER MOBILE HOMES. NEWLY PLANTED OR YOUNG TREES AND SHRUBS MAY BE UPROOTED IF NOT SECURED PROPERLY. ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES WILL BE POSSIBLE.

...STORM SURGE AND STORM TIDE...
THE IMPACT FROM COMBINED STORM SURGE AND TIDE WATERS IS EXPECTED TO BE MINOR TO LOCALLY MODERATE. THE STORM SURGE IS FORECAST TO RANGE FROM 1 TO 2 FEET...PERHAPS LOCALLY 2 TO 3 FEET.

...COASTAL HAZARDS...
HIGH SURF IS EXPECTED FROM THURSDAY NIGHT INTO FRIDAY WITH MINOR TO MODERATE BEACH EROSION.

By Capital Weather Gang  | September 2, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Next: Earl weaker, still a serious threat to East Coast

Comments

First!

Posted by: snowedin85 | September 2, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Getting worred about my roommate's weekend plans. She flies out early saturday to Providence for a wedding on Cape Cod. Given the potential for damage how likely is that she should just stay home?

Posted by: epjd | September 2, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Out of curiousity, how bad do you think conditions will be mid-Cape? My family is in Harwich and I'm wondering/hoping that the house won't sustain major damage! Sure would love to see the surf there... I was on Cape for Hurricane Bob and Eduard as a kid - quite the experience!

Posted by: CuseFan07 | September 2, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

epjd - If I were averse to risk, having plans cancelled after there, debris clean-up delays... well, I would not travel east of boston (onto the cape) this weekend.

CuseFan07 - mid-Cape still has a 25% chance of hurricane force winds, as of 8amEDT this morning. If sustained winds above 74mph do impact the eastern half of the cape.. even just for an hour or two.. it would be enough to produce serious debris and some property damage.

To both of you, I would like err on the side of caution for anyone in/near/on the Cape this Friday afternoon-Saturday morning.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | September 2, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Driving to the Outer Banks tomorrow, leaving around early-lunchtime and arriving around early-dinnertime. Will they still be there when I arrive?

Posted by: jochpo | September 2, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

According to this table http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIAPWSAT2+shtml/021456.shtml? the outer cape (Hyannis) has a 17% probability of hurricane force winds, 43% for storm force and 82% for gale force. Based on those numbers I would call it 25% chance of damage that would shut down a wedding.

For Providence it's 7%, 19%, 64% so probably 10% chance of trees down somewhere but probably no effect on flying in and out except overnight Friday. Saturday will be peaceful except chainsaw noise if the worst case happens.

Posted by: eric654 | September 2, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, just looked at the map, Hyannis is mid-cape, not outer.

Posted by: eric654 | September 2, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

We hope the Hurricane Earl moves away from the coast but in the event that Earl makes landfall in New England and inflicts significant damage we will be completing aerial photo flights to assess the damage in the affected areas. If there are areas that are particularly heavily impacts, please let us know by emailing duncpearson@gmail.com
We will begin completing aerial photo missions as soon after the hurricane passes as is safe! Let us know if you would like aerials of any particular sites or properties. Check us out on the web:
http://duncan-pearson.artistwebsites.com
http://www.pearsonaerialphotography.com

Posted by: drptnc | September 2, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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