6pm Earl Update

I’m tracking Earl on the long range radar from Long Island and based on the current trajectory I think it will pass just right of the NHC track off of Nantucket. One buoy to the north (44066) of the center in the heavy rain shield of Earl had a wind gust to 55 mph. Not exactly impressive .

For the past 2 or 3 days I’ve expected minimal impacts, at best, and now it looks even more minimal with winds of 15 to 20 mph in most of the west of I-91 and light rainfall. Eastern Connecticut could pick up 1″-3″ as the heaviest rain pivots over the I-395 corridor. New London county could register a wind gust to 35 or 40 mph, but that will be the exception rather than the rule.

No big deal, as expected.


Earl to Produce Minimal Impacts

Earl’s path has jogged back east from the earlier NHC track toward my forecast from a couple days ago to southeast of Nantucket. There was really no reliable model that ever brought this storm to a location where it posed a threat to Connecticut in terms of damage. Obviously with a storm this powerful it deserves a large amount of scrutiny and attention but thankfully Earl is behaving exactly as forecasted.

The impacts on Connecticut will be minimal. It’s possible southeastern Connecticut could see a 40 mph wind gust but winds will be well short of tropical storm force. Most of the state will see very little wind as Earl’s tight core of strong winds passes to the east of even Cape Cod. In terms of rain there will be some squalls statewide and New London County will likely get clipped by the core of the heaviest rain where 1″-2″ is possible. Further west in the Hartford area it’s unlikely that rain totals will exceed 0.5″. There’s some chance, however, that the heaviest rain core may become so disjointed from the center that it winds up over us. It’s difficult to say whether or not that will happen just yet.

There should be no flooding problems from Earl either fresh water or the Sound. The ground is very dry and can handle 2″ or 3″ of rain easily. In addition winds will be out of the north which will push water away from Connecticut toward the north shore of Long Island. In fact, today’s high tide will likely be a bit below normal because of the northerly winds.

On the Cape and Nantucket there will be a greater impact from Earl. Though the core of the strongest winds will stay east there is the potential of 60-70 mph winds over the outer Cape. Hurricane conditions are very unlikely but moderate to strong tropical storm force winds are probable. This is nothing the Cape can’t handle and most of the trees on Cape Cod never grow tall enough to be impacted by winds of this strength. Nantucket could see gusts in excess of hurricane force but likely won’t get sustained hurricane force winds.

Bottom line is that once again Connecticut and southern New England have lucked out from a tropical threat. I hope the media buildup about Earl doesn’t lead to a sense of complacency during the next hurricane threat because most people tonight won’t even know there’s a storm nearby.