It has been a while since I have posted anything but Earl has reawakened the weather nerd otherwise consumed by moving, starting a new job, and dealing with a new (old) house. Below is an infrared satellite shot of Hurricane Earl as of 1130pm eastern time:
Earl, now an impressive category 4 hurricane continues his westward movement (WNW @ 14mph at the 11pm update) away from the Virgin Islands. The next major landmass is...the East Coast of the US/Canada. The National Hurricane Center, in tandem with global/mesoscale weather models, has been shifting the forecast track further west over the past few days, and a strike along the eastern seaboard is definitely possible, though far from certain at this point. Hurricane forecasting is notoriously difficult and unpredictable. Slight shifts in the atmosphere coupled with the potent force of a storm this size spell trouble when it comes to accuracy - forecasting where/how strong Earl will be in 24 hours is one thing, but 3, 4 or 5 days from now is virtually impossible - which the NHC readily admits. Needless to say, everyone from SC to Nova Scotia needs to keep an eye on the development and track in the coming days as Earl nears the US mainland. If the current forecast verifies - highly unlikely - Earl will brush the East Coast as he turns north and then north east around the NC coast. At a minimum, with the speed and size of the system, there will most likely be major damage along the coastlines in the form of beach erosion due to the large swells. Any deviation to the west and damage could be much greater. STAY TUNED!