John Ghiorse’s Latest Update On Hurricane Earl: TUESDAY AM
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
What’s Happening Now:
Powerful Hurricane Earl continues to be a Category 4 storm (maximum sustained winds of 131-155 mph) this morning as it spins on a WNW course about 200 miles NNW of San Juan, Puerto Rico. We should all keep in mind that this storm is still over 1500 miles from New England and is moving at only 15 mph, so it has a long way to go before it ever has even a chance to affect us here in Rhode Island. In other words a lot can happen to both the path and intensity of this storm before it ever gets in a position to affect us.
What Is The Forecast:
Most of the long range forecast models continue to bring Earl on a general northwesterly course until it gets close to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on Friday. They then begin to recurve the storm or turn it on a northnortheasterly path as it heads toward New England. The official track brings the storm about 50-100 miles southeast of Cape Cod early Saturday morning. I still continue to think that it will be closer than that and could well cut right over Southeastern Massachusetts. It will still be a major hurricane as it passes near or over Cape Hatteras but will begin to lose some strength as it moves into our vicinity. However with winds still well over 100mph it will still be a very dangerous hurricane capable of destruction on the order of some of our greatest storms. That is why the path of the eye will be so critical. You should continue to remember that a shift in the track of 50-100 miles or so can make a big difference in what happens to us, The farther west the storm deviates from the “official” forecast the worse it is for us. If the storm were to track to our west, say, over Long Island or Connecticut then we would be talking about very severe storm affects here in Rhode Island. But as I continue to say, a lot can happen over the next couple of days to change that outlook. Certainly by late tomorrow or early Thursday we should have a much better handle on the forecast.
What You Should Be Doing Now
Planning Stage. If you live in an area that might be evacuated, make a preliminary plan on how you and your family will proceed if the situation arises. If you have a boat you should be thinking about what you want to do now. There is no need to take action just yet. If your boat is large, perhaps you should be making preliminary arrangements with a boat yard or hauling facility. For non-boaters look around your yard or property and pinpoint the items that would need to be secured or brought under shelter if a big storm were to hit. Remember wind gusts over 100 mph can make many ordinary items into dangerous missiles. Check your emergency kit that we suggested to you a couple of months ago. Batteries, flashlights, water, portable radio, etc. Let’s hope we don’t have to use that stuff, but if we do, you’ll be good to go.
I will have another update on Earl tomorrow morning. Of course, I will update you earlier if new information comes in that dramatically changes the situation. Remember we are in a wait and see stage right now. We still have time to do the things we need to do if the storm becomes a major threat.
- Hurricane Season: 10 Items To Gather Now
- Providence’s Hurricane Barrier, Part 1: Why It’s Here
- Providence’s Hurricane Barrier, Part 2: How It Really Works
- Providence’s Hurricane Barrier, Part 3: The Gates
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