Earl Now A Dangerous Category Four Hurricane

Posted in General, Storm Facts, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Warning at 3:30 am by gmachos

Hurricaneville continues to watch the progress of Hurricane Earl as it continues to trek West-Northwestward over the tropical waters of the Western Atlantic. Earl has gotten much stronger since our last blog post on Sunday night. As of the 3:00 AM Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Earl is located approximately 125 miles North of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is moving to the West-Northwest at 13 miles per hour.

Maximum sustained winds have grown to 135 miles per hour making Earl a Category Four Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. This dangerous storm now is the strongest of the 2010 season with a minimum central pressure now down to 931 millibars, or 27.49 inches of Hg (Mercury). Danielle had been the strongest of the season with a minimum central pressure of 942 millibars, or 27.82 inches of Hg. Looking at the latest infared satellite imagery courtesy of the Weather Channel, you can see the storm has gotten deeper and stronger as indicated by the darker colors, which indicate colder cloud tops. Presently, there are watches and warnings issued for the following:

Tropical Storm Warning Is In Effect For:

  • Puerto Rico including the islands of Culebra and Vieques.
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

Tropical Storm Watch Is In Effect For:

  • Southeastern Bahamas

In addition to these watches and warnings, all interests along the East Coast of the United States from the Carolinas to New England should closely monitor the progress of Hurricane Earl. The latest forecast track has Earl shifted more to the left with its closest approach to the U.S. East Coast on Thursday just off the Outer Banks of North Carolina near Cape Hatteras. The storm is then expected to head off to the Northeast, parallelling the Jersey Shore and points north through Friday before coming ashore in Nova Scotia on Saturday. It all depends on the timing of a strong trough over the Midwest. However, the five day forecast has an error of 200 to 300 nautical miles. So, it is very possible that the Mid-Atlantic and New England may not be spared.

As far as the intensity forecast goes, I don’t think that we’ve seen the latest of Earl’s strengthening. The deeper reds seen spread throughout the circulation in the latest satellite imagery coupled with a slight drop in pressure over just the past few hours indicates that the storm is still getting deeper. The latest discussion from the NHC indicates that Earl will intensify further into a storm with winds of 120 knots or 140 miles per hour over the next 48 hours. Even as it moves up the coast, it will only be entering waters that are slightly cooler relative to the waters it is presently in now. Also, keep in mind that intensity forecasts are more difficult to make than track forecasts.

Bottom line: It is going to be an interesting several days along the East Coast of the United States.

Cape Verde Season Now In High Gear

Posted in Commentary, General, Storm Track at 3:00 am by gmachos

Over nearly the last two weeks, Hurricaneville has been tracking developments in the tropics more regularly, and each day there seems to be something new happening. Well, the Cape Verde Season is in full bloom now. We’ve had Danielle, now have Earl and Fiona, and another area of disturbed weather seems to be getting its act together. This third disturbance is well out in the Tropical Atlantic, and does seem to have a good cluster of convection associated with it. Take a look at the global map as well as the map of the Tropical Atlantic.

Western Hemisphere Satellite–Courtesy of the Weather Channel

Tropical Atlantic Satellite–Courtesy of the Weather Channel

These two images indicate that this disturbance looks a lot more healthy than Fiona does. It also has some distance between itself, Fiona, and Earl, which gives it a better chance to develop since there won’t be as much shear, and tropical waters will get a chance to warm again at the surface after Earl and Fiona passed over them. According to the latest Tropical Weather Outlook from the National Hurricane Center, this broad area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave is located several hundred miles to the Southwest of the Cape Verde Islands. Currently, it has a 10 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours, but I think it looks like those odds will go up significantly before then.

Looking further east across the African continent, we can see more thunderstorm complexes headed toward the Atlantic Ocean, and these all could become tropical waves, and even cyclones in the coming week.

Africa Satellite–Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

There had been a recent slackening of projections in seasonal hurricane forecasts, but there were still indications that 2010 would be another active season in what has become the latest active cycle that began in 1995.

Fiona Finally Forms In Western Atlantic

Posted in Storm Facts, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track at 2:42 am by gmachos

After much anticipation over the past several days, Tropical Storm Fiona emerged in the Western Atlantic yesterday several hundred miles from the Northern Leeward Islands. Moving very rapidly to the West at 23 miles per hour, Fiona is not exepcted to become a strong storm or hurricane in the short term. Due to its close proximity to dangerous Hurricane Earl, the sixth named storm of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season isn’t given much of a chance to develop.

As of the 2:00 AM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Tropical Storm Fiona was located 670 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Maximum sustained winds were still of minimal tropical storm force at 40 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure in the storm remains high at 1007 millibars, or 29.74 inches of Hg. The combination of its very rapid forward motion along with its close proximity to Earl will make it difficult for Fiona to develop much further. The shearing environment created by the flow from Earl along with the fast movement will prevent the thunderstorms associated with the system from converging over its center, which it needs to do to get better organized and stronger.

The latest forecast discussion also adds that the upwelled water left behind from the churning by Earl along a similar track will leave sea surface temperatures slightly cooler for Fiona adding another obstacle to development. Maximum sustained winds are only expected to become 45 knots or 50 miles per hour within the next five days. As far as the forecast track, Fiona is expected to follow a path similar to that of Earl, and maybe a bit more to the right. One model, the ECMWF, has a stronger and deeper Fiona responding to Northeasterly winds, but that scenario isn’t expected.

After coming off the coast of Africa late last week, Fiona gradually got picked up by the NHC, and was getting a high probability to develop over the past several days. However, it still didn’t develop. On Monday afternoon, the probability for tropical formation increased to 90 percent before it finally became a storm by later afternoon.

Last Advisory Issued On Danielle

Posted in Storm Track at 2:24 am by gmachos

On Tuesday night, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, issued the final advisory on Danielle, which had weakened to a tropical storm before losing its tropical characteristics. The fourth named storm, second hurricane, and first major hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane season steered clear of any land areas a couple days ago, and hadn’t been a threat since unless you were a ship in the vicinity of the storm.

As of the 11:00 PM EDT Advisory, Danielle was located 475 miles Southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland in the Canadian Maritimes, and was moving to the East-Northeast at 15 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds were still at 70 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure at 975 millibars, or 28.79 inches of Hg. The storm is expected to continue moving to the East-Northeast over the next 24 hours before picking up forward speed and turning to the Northeast on Wednesday. In addition, the system is expected to continue gradually weakening, and then become absorbed by a larger low pressure system over the North Atlantic.

Danielle had been the strongest hurricane of the 2010 season in the Atlantic until Earl intensified to a Category Four Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Wednesday. Danielle’s pressure dipped to 942 millibars, or 27.82 inches of Hg while Earl is now the strongest storm in terms of pressure with 933 millibars, or 27.55 inches of Hg. Earl is also forecast to get stronger with winds peaking at 145 to 150 miles per hour.

Jersey Shore To Start Feeling Effects Of Earl On Wednesday

Posted in Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track at 2:11 am by gmachos

The track of Hurricane Earl continues to be in a westward direction this early Tuesday morning as the storm continues to move away from the Virgin Islands in the Northeast Caribbean. The latest forecast calls for Earl to be very close to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Thursday morning, and east of the Jersey Shore on Friday morning. However, it is still to early to tell whether or not Earl will have a direct impact on the Garden State. Nevertheless, long period swells from the storm will begin to affect the Jersey coast on Wednesday with possible tropical storm conditions to follow on Thursday and Friday.

Another 90 Degree Day In Jersey

Posted in GWC News at 2:02 am by gmachos

Good morning. Sorry for the delay in posts to the blog here on Hurricaneville. I was hoping to put something up on Monday night, but after being at work until 7:30 PM, I fell asleep when I got home, and just woke up a little while ago. Anyway, the heatwave continued in New Jersey as well as the rest of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on Monday as the final week of Meteorological summer is going out with a sizzle.

Here in South Plainfield, located in Northwestern Middlesex County, it was surprisingly a bit cooler than on Sunday. The mercury climbed to only just a shade under 91 degrees as supposed to the high of near 93 on Sunday. Temperatures are expected to remain the same over the next several days as strong high pressure will continue to dominate the weather in our region. Taking a look at some of the temperatures around the region today, here’s what we had:

Regional Temperatures

  • Somerville, NJ–93.9 degrees
  • Newark, NJ–93.9 degrees
  • Morristown, NJ–90 degrees
  • Central Park (NYC)–91.9 degrees
  • Trenton, NJ–95 degrees
  • Belmar, NJ–93.2 degrees
  • Philadelphia, PA–97 degrees
  • Atlantic City, NJ–95 degrees
  • Wildwood, NJ–87.8 degrees
  • Wilmington, DE–93.9 degrees
  • Dover, DE–91.4 degrees

Today marked the 10th time this month, and the 34th time since May 7th that the mercury climbed to 90 degrees or higher in South Plainfield.


Earl Strengthens To Category Two Hurricane

Posted in Storm Facts, Storm Preparation, Storm Safety, Storm Track at 11:41 pm by gmachos

As predicted earlier this weekend and late last week, Earl has not only become the Atlantic season’s third hurricane, but it has also strengthened to have winds of 100 miles per hour. The Category Two storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, has continued to strengthen over the Western Atlantic as it affects the Northern Leeward Islands.

Currently, as of the 11:00 PM EDT Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, the storm was located 50 miles East-Northeast of Barbuda in the Northernmost Leeward Islands. Earl is moving to the West-Northwest at 15 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds associated with the hurricane have increased to 100 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure has fallen to 971 millibars, or 28.67 inches of Hg (Mercury). There are a whole bunch of watches and warnings issued for the Northeastern Caribbean including the following:

Hurricane Warning In Effect For:

  • Antigua
  • Barbuda
  • Montserrat
  • St. Kitts
  • Nevis
  • Anguilla
  • St. Martin
  • St. Barthelemy
  • St. Maarten
  • Saba
  • St. Eustatius
  • British Virgin Islands

Hurricane Watch And Tropical Storm Warning In Effect For:

  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Puerto Rico including the islands of Culebra and Vieques

All interests along the East Coast of the United States from South Florida to Maine should closely monitor the progress of this system over the next week. Tropical storm force winds are already impacting the islands, and hurricane force conditions are expected to move over the area over the next 12 hours or so. Storm surge levels are expected to be 2 to 4 feet above normal, and it is going to be accompanied by powerful waves. Rain is going to be the big story though with rainfall amounts ranging from 3 to 5 inches and isolated amounts reaching 8 inches in the Leeward Islands while 4 to 6 inches with isolated amounts of up to a foot expected in Puerto Rico.

The key to the future track of Earl is going to be how long it will take for it to make the turn to the north. The longer the storm continues to move to the West, the more and more that the East Coast of the United States is in play. The current five day track has the center of Earl staying parallel to the East Coast of the United States with it perhaps impacting Nova Scotia by week’s end. Looking at the latest discussion from the NHC, it appears that Earl has strengthened, an eye feature has formed, and there is good outflow in all quadrants except for the Northeast Quadrant. Intensity forecasts indicate that Earl will strengthen to a major hurricane within the next 48 to 72 hours.

Still Waiting For Fiona To Form

Posted in General, Storm Preparation, Storm Track at 11:12 pm by gmachos

For the past several days, Hurricaneville has been watching an area of disturbed weather that had come off the West African coast at the end of last week with a lot of promise. Gradually, it began to get the attention of the National Hurricane Center, which at first, gave it a 10 to 20 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm, but now are giving it an 80 percent chance of tropical formation. However, now TD #8, or Tropical Storm Fiona has been able to emerge yet.

According to the latest Tropical Weather Outlook from the NHC as of 8:00 PM EDT on Sunday night, shower and thunderstorm activity associated with the area of low pressure located halfway between the Cape Verde Islands and the Lesser Antilles in the Central Atlantic has been minimal. Overall organization of this disturbance has not changed much over the past 24 hours, but environmental conditions, i.e. sea surface temperatures and upper level winds, remain favorable for development over the next couple of days as it heads to the West at 20 miles per hour.

The Atlantic has so far seen seven depressions, five named storms, three hurricanes, and one major hurricane this season. Forecasts had initially called for between 14 and 23 named storms, but they have since been scaled back slightly. However, the Cape Verde Season which usually runs from the beginning of August until the end of September, has kicked into high gear over the past week to ten days, and more waves are moving across Africa as we speak.

Rip Currents Caused By Danielle Create A Ton Of Trouble Along East Coast

Posted in General, Storm Safety at 10:55 pm by gmachos

With the splendid weather to go to the beach, many residents along the East Coast of the United States headed to the shore to seek relief from this latest bout of 90 degree weather. However, a storm about one thousand miles away was still managing to make an impact for coastal residents and visitors alike. For much of this weekend, large period swells generated by the churning, spinning, and upwelling by Hurricane Danielle in the Central Atlantic, created a bit of rough surf, and strong rip currents.

Danielle, which had become the strongest hurricane to date in the Atlantic with Category Four strength winds of 135 miles per hour, recurved out to sea well east of Bermuda over the past 48 hours, but it has managed to still cause a stir. The storm, which has since weakened over the cooler waters of the Atlantic to have winds of 80 miles per hour, has spawn significant wave action that has caused mayhem along the East Coast from Florida to Long Island, where advisories had been issued. In addition, the strong high pressure responsible for the start of the latest heat wave is also providing an onshore flow.

The problem with the rip currents has been most significant in Maryland and Virginia where a total of 300 rescues had been done on Saturday along. In addition, there was one fatality in Florida when a person in Brevard County succumbed to the treacherous rip currents. If you intend to go to the coast over the next few days, please try to stay out of the water, and if you do happen to go in to the water, be careful. The National Weather Service and NOAA have put together a web site devoted to information on rip currents. Follow these tips:

  • Break the Grip of the Rip!
  • Don’t fight the current.
  • Swim out of the current, then to shore.
  • If you can’t escape, float, or tread water.
  • If you need help, call or wave for assistance.
  • Know how to swim.
  • Never swim alone.
  • If in doubt, don’t go out.

With the presence of Hurricane Earl in the Western Atlantic near the Northern Leeward Islands, and strong high pressure over the Eastern United States, conditions for rough, heavy surf and rip currents are expected to continue for the rest of the week.

Looking At Another East Coast Heatwave This Week

Posted in GWC News at 10:26 pm by gmachos

Good evening everyone. Sorry that I haven’t had any posts up here in the blog for about the past couple days, but I’ve had to work both Saturday and Sunday. I’m trying to just find a way to post something to the web site while all the action is occurring in the tropics. Right now though, I’m going to digress since the heat is returning to the Central Jersey area along with much of the East Coast, and the forces that are playing into it could be setting the stage for a visit from Hurricane Earl.

For the ninth time this month, and the 33rd time since May 7th, the mercury climbed into the 90s here in Northwest Middlesex County. The temperature on Sunday here in South Plainfield was actually the second warmest this month as it came in just under 93 degrees. The warmest temperature so for this August was on the 9th with it reaching 93.8 degrees. After a couple splendid days of late summer weather with comfortable temperatures, and low humidity, the heat made a return on Sunday, and will be staying for the rest of the week. The forecast is calling for temperatures to get into the low to mid 90s for the next four days. Friday provides a possible respite with temps getting into the high 80s with a chance for thunderstorms.

Looking around the Garden State, the temperature got up to just under 92 degrees in Somerville according to data from the National Weather Service. Over in Newark, the mercury climbed to 96 degrees while in Trenton it got as high as 97 degrees. Further south in Atlantic City, it was near 100 degrees with the thermometer getting up to 98. Down in Wildwood, there was a nice sea breeze that brought the temperature down to just 86.

Looking at the National Weather Map courtesy of the NWS, you can see a ridge of high pressure entrenched over the eastern third of the United States. This dome of high pressure will not do much over the next few days. If anything, it will just drift to the east, bringing more of a southerly flow around it. This southerly flow will bring with it the heat much like we saw today. The presence of no frontal boundaries or troughs may be a key factor in the future whereabouts of Hurricane Earl. The fifth named storm of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season became the season’s third hurricane earlier on Sunday, and is currently threatening the Northern Leeward Islands with Category One strength winds. More on Earl in a bit.

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