Hurricane Earl is now a Category 2 storm with winds of about 105 miles an hour. President Obama has already signed a disaster declaration for the state of North Carolina. FEMA has already been working to bring supplies into areas along the East Coast where Earl may cause damage.
Hurricane Earl in North Carolina
Hurricane Earl has already impacted the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The storm has left hundreds of people along the coast of North Carolina without electricity.
The winds hitting the coast of North Carolina are about 30 miles per hour with gusts ranging about double that amount. Thus far only a little flooding has occurred and the ocean surges are quite minor.
The eye of Hurricane Earl is now expected to hit about 100 miles off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This area is expected to have winds of about 74 mph for a few hours as Earl moves over the Outer Banks, reports the NY Post.
Hurricane Earl is Large!
Right now Hurricane Earl is very large. It encompasses about 166,000 square miles. CNN notes that that size is slightly larger than the state of California. NJ.com reports that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hurricane Earl could impact 26 million people in the coastal areas of North Carolina and down to Maine.
Waves of up to 10 to 15 feet high could occur in some coastal areas. Earl could also cause waterspouts and tornados as it moves up the East Coast. If Earl moves out to sea the storm will be much milder. Residents of the East Coast are anxiously watching the news to track the direction of Earl.
As it moves up the East Coast, Hurricane Earl may be dumping 4 to 8 inches of rain, depending on where it travels. The rain, especially if it comes in suddenly, could cause flooding.
Hurricane Earl Predictions for Massachusetts
The governor of Massachusetts has announced a state of emergency as Hurricane Earl approaches the state. He suggested that residents near the shore areas of Massachusetts evacuate. Earl may brush near the areas of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
Residents in areas of Cape Cod that typically flood have been told to evacuate. In Nantucket a shelter will be opened at the high school.
Long Island & New Jersey
Long Island and New Jersey are currently under a tropical storm warning due to Hurricane Earl. The storm may cause 6-12 foot waves in these states. Dangerous rip tides are also a concern. During the tropical storm warning no one should go in or near the ocean.
In Long Island Earl is expected to be around 100 to 120 miles southeast of Montauk by about 8 p.m. on Friday evening. Winds up to 74 miles per hour could damage trees and bring down power lines. Secure all items outside so that they do not become flying projectiles. Anything like an outside chair, pots of flowers, garbage cans, and other outdoor items should be brought into the garage or home or secured outside.
Hurricane Earl is expected to sweep by the Jersey shore at about lunchtime on Friday. Winds above 50 mph may impact New Jersey coastal areas as Hurricane Earl passes by the region. Also, New Jersey coastal areas may experience flooding as waves surge 1 to 3 feet. But right now, as it approaches 6 a.m., reports say New Jersey is still calm. The winds have not picked up yet.
Unusual Summer Weather for the East Coast
The East Coast has had a very hot and very dry summer. The rains of Earl will cool the area down and bring the temperatures down into the 70s. This will be a big change from the temperatures in the 90s this week in many East Coast areas. What will the memories of Labor Day weekend 2010 be like. Will Hurricane Earl be one for the record books or will this storm only create minor damage?
Best wishes to everyone along the East Coast. Stay out of the ocean to stay safe. Surfers beware! It is quite silly to risk your life to ride a good wave.