Brief Heat Update: Today and tomorrow will likely be the hottest days until next year for the area, with the current temperatures already very hot, ranging from the lower 90s inland to the mid-upper 90s for the immediate NYC area. A few 100 degree reports are even showing up not too far SW of the area. Tomorrow will be similar in terms of temperatures, with Thursday slightly cooling down.
Hurricane Earl: Weakening, But Still A Major Threat For The East Coast
Earl's Current Observations: Earl is currently a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds at 135 mph and minimum pressure at 940 mb. Earl has been stronger earlier today, however it is currently weakening, with more on that below. Earl is currently north of Hispaniola, and is moving west northwest with occasional hints of a NW movement.
Earl's Intensity Forecast: As mentioned above, Earl is currently weakening. It continued to rapidly intensify when I posted yesterday's update, but due to increased shear, a lot of dry air to its northwest and an eyewall replacement cycle, Earl is currently weakening, and I would not be surprised if we see Earl downgraded to a category 3 hurricane by the end of today. Earl should complete its eyewall replacement cycle soon, and could intensify, as there is also decreasing shear ahead of Earl, but the dry air will still be there and likely prevent rapid intensification of Earl. As a result, I have Earl weakening to a category 3 tonight, potentially back up to a category 4 tomorrow, then down again to a category 3 hurricane as Earl starts to weaken further north.
Earl will then interact with the approaching cold front to its west on Friday-Saturday, and will start to lose tropical characteristics, becoming an extra-tropical cyclone by the time that it is near Nova Scotia.
Earl's Track Forecast: Earl continues to move west northwest and is still south of a lot of the models' predictions from yesterday, which a lot of the models have trended west. The latest GFS run dumps heavy rain on Long Island with rainfall amounts over 1/2 inch extending as far west as almost central NJ, however this could be a little too far west as the GFS is not very good in handling sharp cut off lines. The NAM is also close to the coast, as well as the ECMWF and NOGAPS, which both of these models showing a landfall for eastern North Carolina and Cape Cod. Looking at the above, as well as Earl still moving WNW, I decided to shift my track further west, taking Earl closer to the coast but not showing a landfall yet. It is possible that this track may trend a little more west, with the probability for a landfall in eastern North Carolina and/or Cape Cod increasing. If the models become more consistent on this solution, I will likely reflect it in tomorrow's forecast.
Forecast Preliminary Impact Map For The East Coast
Earl is expected to be a Category 2 hurricane while moving east of the East Coast. At this time, the exact impact is uncertain, but some details are likely, including possible hurricane conditions for Cape Cod and eastern North Carolina.
At this time, I went acording to the scenario I posted in my forecast map, as well as other forecast models. Note that this is only according to my current thinking, and can still change. I am thinking that Earl will move close to eastern NC and Cape Cod, where hurricane conditions are possible. Strong winds are likely for these areas, as well as very heavy rainfall amounting to several inches. Further west, including southeastern Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula, eastern New Jersey, Long Island/S CT and a good part of eastern New England, tropical storm conditions are possible, including heavy rainfall up to 1-3" possible and tropical storm force winds (40-70 mph) with stronger gusts. Further west of this area, some rain is expected, with up to an inch, but the worst will stay in the areas mentioned above. If the models stay consistent or trend west, however, places west of the yellow area will also be capable of seeing the conditions mentioned above.
As I previously mentioned, the scenario above can still change. It is possible that Earl trend slightly further east, with the hurricane conditions staying offshore, or Earl trends west, with Tropical Storm conditions covering most of the NYC area, with hurricane conditions possible even in eastern Long Island.
Over the next few days, updates on Earl will be posted more frequently, with the next update to be posted tomorrow in the early morning, reflecting the latest data on Earl and any potential change in the forecast.