HURRICANE EARL, Tropical Storms FIONA, and Gaston 9/3/2010 4:30 pm

Colleagues, EAST Coast, brace yourself for Squally weather (or if you prefer, "Stormy Weather"). Near Tropical Storm force winds, rip tides, large swells, winds and rain are to be expected all up the east coast through Saturday.

FORECAST: Forecasts remain essentially unchanged. HURRICANE EARL is now a Category 2 Hurricane with winds of 105 mph, passing the outer banks of North Caroline, moving NNE at 18 mph. The outer banks of North Carolina are experience near hurricane force winds, heavy rain, rip tides, storm surge 6- 9 feet. Tropical Storm force winds will be felt along the coast. HURRICANE EARL will start to weaken but remain a hurricane most of the way up the east coast. Boston will experience Tropical Storm winds, Manchester by-the-Sea, Mass will experience near, but less than Tropical Storm force winds. By Saturday afternoon, the storm will be in Canada.

Tropical Storm FIONA has winds of 50 mph, located over Bermuda, moving NNW at 17 mph. FIONA will likely end up going over Bermuda as Tropical Storm. NO threat to the US.

Tropical Storm GASTON is still 1000 east of the Leeward Island. But, it is on a more southerly track, at 15 deg N Latitude headed right for the Leeward islands and if it continues this pathcould lead to a landfall in the Gulf in 2 or 3 weeks. That is a long forecast to make. I will look more closely at this weekend after Earl is past most of the US.

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: The eye of EARL will just missed land. The Outer Banks of North Carolina will be hit by hurricane force winds, and all up the East coast should anticipate strong Tropical Storm force winds. HURRICANE EARL will continue weaken after North Carolina as it encounters cooler seas, more shear and dryer air as it begins its transition to an extra-tropical system. All bad news for a hurricane but it will remain a force to be reckoned with all the way up the east coast.

There are about 3 systems remaining to come off Africa. We will probably slip down into to closer to an average rather than an active season, unless something changes in the next month.

NEXT FORECAST: Saturday morning

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