9 AM Update:
As of NHC’s 8 AM update, Earl remains a Category 3 hurricane at 125 mph, however the eyewall replacement cycle from last night has been completed, with a new but slightly ragged eye in place. While Earl is slightly strengthening, and could reach Category 4 status later today as my forecast from last night expected, Earl is currently fighting dry air, which is entering the southeastern part of Earl. At this time, the dry air isn’t having too much effect, but if the dry air can keep moving into Earl, it will likely cause Earl to weaken, preventing it from reaching Category 4 intensity.
The 06z model runs, unlike some 00z runs, trended west again, and now are showing a near miss for eastern North Carolina and Cape Cod. This, however, shows that the models do not have a good handle on Earl just yet. For the shorter range, the models are in agreement of Earl moving northwest, which it is currently doing so, and starting to turn more north once it approaches eastern North Carolina. The NOGAPS and UKMET are still likely outliers as they take Earl too far west and take too long to recurve, but at this time, unless the 12z runs bring something completely different, my forecast track will likely be similar to, if not just east of yesterday’s track. For more details on what that track may bring, its effect would be similar to a version slightly further east than the Potential Impact map I posted yesterday.
The next update will likely be posted by 3 PM, along with updated maps, however it is possible the update could be delayed until the early morning hours tomorrow.
5 AM Update:
Earl continued to slightly weaken overnight, and as I expected yesterday, Earl is now back down to a category 3 hurricane as of NHC’s 5 AM update, although I think it could have been a Category 3 earlier. Earl’s environment is still not very favorable, and I would not be surprised if Earl weakens again by NHC’s 8 or 11 AM update. The latest models have trended slightly east, with the NAM only showing light impact for Cape Cod and eastern NC. The westernmost solution is the 00z NOGAPS, which takes Earl over Long Island and has heavy rain and strong winds for most of the area, however the NOGAPS is most likely a western outlier. The 00z GFS and ECMWF models trended east, and the 00z GGEM is consistent in keeping Earl away from land.
As with yesterday, it is still too early to know where Earl tracks for sure, but the models can’t trend much west of where they were yesterday due to the set up in place, and if the rest of the 06z runs stay consistent or trend east, I will likely shift my track east to where it was 2 days ago, otherwise I will keep the track the same. The next update will be posted around 9 AM.