Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hurricane Earl expected to create damaging RIP currents in South Carolina

Akshay Deoras,
Severe Weather Forecaster

Hurricane Earl has not shown any more strengthening in the last 12hrs and is a Cat 3 hurricane with Winds around 125mph( max sustained at the center). Earl is having a min central pressure of 941mb. In accordance, the National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Alert along the coastal Carolinas and a Rip current alert in coastal North Carolina

No more wind shears have developed around Hurricane Earl. Wind shears at upper and mid levels are responsible for unorganising the storm system and gradually weakening it. A strong Convection is taking place and Earl now has a well defined eye wall which is being confirmed by the satellite imageries
The guidance models indicate that no significant shears will develop in next 12-18hrs on Earl's path and as it will encounter warmer SST, it might re-intensify. However only GFDL model is suggesting the re-intensification while rest models including GFS say it will maintain its state.
Currently, Earl's steering winds are the associated Subtropical ridge. It will shift westwards of the ridge and heading more Northwards, the steering winds will be the westerlies.
METD WEATHER forecast says that Earl is not likely to intensify any more!

Strong RIP currents are likely when Earl tracks North-westwards along the coasts of Carolinas particularly in North Carolina. When the coastal water rushes back towards the open sea because of many reasons and in this aspect the High winds from a Major Hurricane. Such rip currents can easily pull in a swimmer who is swimming in the sea at this time.
Rip currents are more powerful at the time of low tides.

Earl's expected to make a partial landfall i.e the outer bands of Earl striking areas at Northern Coastal North Carolina is mostly Thursday late night to friday early morning hours.
However RIP current alert will begin by Thursday evening

Strong storm surges and high winds followed by heavy rains are very likely during the event

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