HURRICANE EARL, Tropical Storm FIONA, and the next one 8/31/2010 5:00 am

Colleagues, A new blog has been posted. Later this week I want to post one on what does 60% chance of rain really mean. Then later still or early next week a series on what I think is real about Global Warming. These can be found on


HURRICANE EARL is now a dangerous major category 4 Hurricane with winds of 135 mph, located just north of Puerto Rico. Movement is WNW, soon to be NW at 12 mph. The forecast for HURRICANE EARL remains the same as it begins a slow turn to the north which will bring it just north of Puerto Rico and the Bahamas but headed toward North Carolina. The path of EARL will bring it up the Atlantic Coast, west of Bermuda. Friday will be judgment day. Bermuda should definitely feel the presence of EARL. Florida will not be hit, but North Carolina will experience probably hurricane force winds, heavy rain, rip tides, storm surge of several up to 10 feet. The whole east coast north of Georgia, to Newfoundland will experience rain, squally weather, high surf, rip tides, but make no mistake, eastern North Carolina will get the worst of it. Closest approach to Florida, 400 miles so we will get somewhat higher surf and some rip tides, but not the full effect by far. If you are cautious in the water, or say out toward the end of the week, you should be ok.

Tropical Storm FIONA has winds of 40 mph, located 500 miles east of the Leeward Islands, moving WNW, but beginning to move more northerly. FIONA will likely end up going between Between Bermuda and the US coast, probably still as a Tropical Storm It has the potential of intensifying a little and might gain hurricane status, but will not be the threat that EARL is.

Off the coast of Africa, another storm begins to brew, keeping us a bit ahead of the climatology for number of storms by about a week.

DISCUSSION: All computer models show HURRICANE EARL staying out to sea But my model shows a close call. More recent government model do show it also coming closer to land. It will be a close call, and perhaps a distinction without meaning. The east coast of North Carolina will be hit by hurricane force winds, and all up the East coast should anticipate strong Tropical Storm force winds. Details all depends on the timing of that trough. Right now, it looks like it will arrive just in time to keep it off shore, but we are talking an difference of hours, not days. The timing and intensity will dictate how far off the coast EARL is as it moves up the east coast. A trough (Front) currently in mid west may get to the east coast in time to change the direction from NW to N to NE on Friday. Right now, that is a very close call. No chance for a Florida landfall, or even close approach.HURRICANE EARL will weaken after North Carolina as it encounters cooler seas, more shear and dryer air. All bad news for a hurricane. And it will begin to transition into a mid latitude low pressure system.

NEXT FORECAST: Wednesday morning

DISCLAIMER: The Florida State University required that I not use any FSU equipment to send out these forecasts. To comply, I have purchased my own computer for making and sending these forecasts. I have been touched by the many offers of encouragement and support that I have received. I am deeply indebted to the Secretary and the staff of the Department of Children and Families who value these forecasts for the citizens of Florida. Also to the firm Hayes Computer Systems, which set up the distribution software and is providing for the distribution of these forecasts at no cost. They are very professional and competent. I acknowledge that these forecasts are mine alone, by my own effort and initiative. I only try to provide the best possible forecasts for the community, and the State of Florida and now, surrounding states at no cost to those who receive it.


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Peter S. Ray

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