No surprise here but our models overnight continue flipping back and forth. Overnight our models shifted back to the west or closer to the coast which leads to a bit of consternation in meteorological circles.
Although our global operational models like the UKMet, ECMWF, and GFS bring Earl almost to Nantucket most of our tropical dynamical models are substantially east of there. You can see on the 6z spaghetti plot the only model over the 40N/70W benchmark is the 00z GFS with the model consensus significantly south and east of there. Last year, during Hurricane Bill, we saw a similar with global op models brushing the coast while the hurricane dynamical models much further east.
Another thing to keep in mind here, that I wanted to make clear after my previous posts, though I think the odds of a direct hurricane strike on Connecticut or Long Island are very low the odds of a landfall somewhere in New England are greater. There have been several storms like Edna in 1954 that have hit the Cape very hard while we’ve had virtually nothing in Connecticut. Bob in 1991 dumped a lot of rain and brought some damage to New London county but winds barely even gusted to 70 mph in Bob which tracked over Block Island and Newport, RI.
Keep in mind winds on the western side of a hurricane are dramatically less than the winds on the eastern side. Rain, however, tends to be higher on the left side of the track here in the northeast which will be something to watch out for.
In order for a direct hit we still need to see a much stronger trough over the Great Lakes, a built up ridge over the north Atlantic, and a storm that initially tracks much closer to the coast say over and west of Cape Hatteras. Not likely but it’s worth watching.
Over the next couple days there will be tons of local and national media hype when one or two computer models continue to bring the storm over Cape Cod. That kind of track would most likely produce winds no stronger than a run-of-the-mill nor’easter in Connecticut but since this storm has a name it will produce a weather-frenzy across the state and nation. If the storm shows signs of moving even further west than the Cape then it becomes a much more serious situation but I see no signs of that now.