30 August 2010

Danielle nearly extratropical, Earl becomes second major hurricane...

Danielle continues to race toward to the north central Atlantic, rapidly losing tropical characteristics.  The hurricane is located about 400 miles south of Newfoundland and the estimated intensity is 65kts and 970mb.  Advisories on this system will likely be discontinued later today, though the extratropical Low is forecast to continue heading NE then recurve back to the NW and hit the southern tip of Greenland in 4-5 days.

Earl is now a 100kt Category 3 hurricane, and has been affecting the northern Leeward Islands for the past 18 hours and continues to do so.  It has gotten to be a very powerful and impressive storm, and a clear eye is opening today on satellite imagery.  At 15Z, the storm was located just 95 miles ENE of St. Thomas with an intensity of 100kts and a central pressure of 960mb.  Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the Virgin Islands and the northernmost Leeward Islands... Hurricane Watch for Puerto Rico, and Tropical Storm Watch for eastern Bahamas (Turks & Caicos).  Earl is forecast to recurve by 75W, which is a close call for the US east coast... and as I pointed out yesterday, the extremities of the coast should be cautious.  A landfall on eastern NC (Thursday) or MA (Friday) is not out of the question, but also not very likely.

The easterly wave I've been mentioning for the past 5 days is still not classified as a Depression... it's been embedded in the same environment that Earl was for several days.  The disturbance is located about 1300 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and heading W at 20kts.  The system is analyzed with a 1007mb Low, and is still expected to become TD8/Fiona in the near future.  Again, this track lies to the south of Danielle's and Earl's, and as such, poses a much greater risk for a US landfall (it would be at least 10 days out).  It will also likely affect the same islands in the Caribbean that Earl just did.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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