I captured the radar image above a little before midnight. You’re looking at Hurricane Earl on the heretofore unknown St Maarten radar. St Maarten is in the middle. On the left is Puerto Rico. The Virgin Islands sit between the two.
Hurricanes are the Gisele Bundchen of meteorology! They are stared at and studied. They are incessantly photographed. They are penetrated by flying meteo labs. All the stops are pulled for hurricanes.
Hurricanes obey the laws of physics. All weather does. Still, hurricanes are distinct.
At its simplest a hurricane moves heat from the equator where there’s an overabundance to the poles where there’s a paucity. The Earth appreciates it. This would be a very different world without hurricanes to transfer heat.
Wind rushes inward toward the hurricane’s centerr. Yes–hurricane’s suck!
As the wind moves friction turns it right. That rightward turn translates into the storm’s counterclockwise spin. As the wind gets closer to the center it gets faster until it finally reaches the eye where it is carried aloft!
The base of a hurricane sucks. The top of a hurricane blows.
A BROAD UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH IS CURRENTLY SITUATED TO THE NORTHWEST OF EARL. GLOBAL MODELS ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT THAT THIS TROUGH WILL SHIFT WESTWARD AND WEAKEN. THIS SHOULD CREATE A ENVIRONMENT CONDUCIVE FOR INTENSIFICATION AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST...LIKE THE PREVIOUS ONE...SHOWS EARL BECOMING A MAJOR HURRICANE OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THE NHC WIND SPEED FORECAST IS ABOVE THE INTENSITY MODEL CONSENSUS BUT BELOW THE LATEST GFDL HURRICANE MODEL GUIDANCE.
Pretty standard stuff from Dr. Richard Pasch at the Hurricane Center. The storm is his responsibility tonight.
I keep looking at the long range guidance because this storm has been modeled to pass very close to Connecticut. The 00z (8:00 PM EDT) run of the GFS isn’t in yet, but yesterday’s 18z shows Earl brushing past Cape Hatteras then hooking northeasterly south of Long Island and possibly striking Cape Cod.
Right now on St Maarten the wind is out of the northnortheast at 14 mph. There’s a thunderstorm in progress–not unusual on a tropical island. Tomorrow will be different.
When Hurricane Earl hits (or goes a little south of the island) every single person on St. Maarten will feel threatened! No one goes through a hurricane in any kind of shelter without fear. It’s well founded.