Chances Increasing Earl Could Hit U.S.

In a brief update to an earlier post, MSNBC is reporting Hurricane Earl seems “to have turned toward the U.S. coast . . . with concern growing that New England could receive a direct hit later in the week.”  

According to NBC meteorologist Bill Karins: 

At this point, 75 percent of weather computers keep Earl off the East Coast, resulting in just a glancing blow; the other 25 percent would bring a significant hurricane near or through eastern New England.

You can follow Hurricane Earl’s progress at the National Hurricane Center’s website.

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Keeping an Eye on Earl

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and elsewhere in the U.S. are closely monitoring Hurricane Earl, which today was upgraded to a Category 3 storm with winds of  111 mph or more.

The predicted track at this point suggests the storm will likely remain offshore as it skirts up the east coast, probably approaching the Carolinas by Friday.  But there’s still room for error in the forecast. 

According to the National Hurricane Center:

This is a good time to remind everyone that NHC average track forecast errors are 200 to 300 miles at days 4 and 5.  Given this uncertainty . . . it is too soon to determine what portion of the U.S. East Coast might see direct impacts from Earl. 

In any event, even if we dodge this bullet, we’re at the height of the hurricane season and the tropics are getting pretty active with Danielle, Earl and a thus far unnamed low pressure system all concurrently swirling around out there in the Atlantic.   

Also in the news this week, by the way, was the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which of course struck the Mississippi/Louisiana coast in 2005.

If you’re interested in hurricanes, Greensboro Public Library might have something for you.  Try some of these books and DVDs:  Hurricanes! by Gail Gibbons (juvenile); Storm World:  Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming by Chris Mooney; Storm that Drowned a City (NOVA DVD);  Hurricane Katrina Strikes the Gulf Coast:  Disaster & Survival by Mara Miller; Hurricane Watch:  Forecasting the Deadliest Storms on Earth by Jack Williams and Bob Sheets; and Inside the Hurricane: Face to Face with Nature’s Deadliest Storms by Pete Davies.