Earl Misses, Glancing Blow Likely

Our computer models are (and have been) in excellent agreement regarding the track of Earl. Since Sunday I’ve expected the hurricane to track just southeast of Nantucket and at this point that still remains likely. It is possible that it may pull a bit west of that and track over Nantucket but in general for the last 72 hours our models have been phenomenal.

This storm is remarkably intense. No storm since 1880 has had a pressure as low as Earl’s north of 28 degrees. Earl’s pressure bottomed out at an incredible 924mb this morning. Thankfully for New England and North Carolina it appears the worst of the storm will stay offshore.

With an exceptionally intense category 4 hurricane showing only very slow signs of weakening I expect Earl to be a monster still (maybe strong cat 2/weak cat 3) when it passes southern New England. Cape Cod and Nantucket will get hit very hard if the storm tracks over Nantucket or Chatham. This is not the most likely solution but it would produce substantial wind and surge damage on the outer Cape. If this happens I expect Cape Cod east of Hyannis to pretty much be out of commission for Labor Day weekend. Currently I’m still calling for a path southeast of Nantucket.

Here in Connecticut we will only experience fringe effects. There’s an outside chance tropical storm force winds will be felt in New London County at the storm’s closest pass but I’m not expecting anything worse than a tropical storm. If the storm passes a bit further off Nantucket it’s possible most of the state doesn’t even see a drop of rain. It’s important to realize that when these storms (especially ones moving at 35mph) reach our latitude they become lopsided with most of the wind on the east side (over the fish) and the rain over the west side (Cape Cod).

Earl’s a monster but unless you’re heading to the Cape don’t expect anything worse than we see in a run of the mill nor’easter. If the storm makes a significant jog west, say tracks over Falmouth or Hyannis, then a more significant rain and wind impact is possible here but it still will be well short of a full fledged hurricane.

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