We’ve been focused on the worst case scenario of a hurricane hitting the greater New York City area. There is still a small but possible chance that could happen. But there are other parts of the east coast that are also under the gun for a direct hit from Hurricane Earl.
Right now the storm is east of Puerto Rico. Earl is expected to make a turn to the northwest in the coming hours, sending it towards the east coast. This morning, Earl officially became a major hurricane and is classified a Category 3 storm on the 5-level scale. With sustained winds now topping 120mph and increasing, this storm could deliver a devastating blow to any landmass it slams into.
In recent days, the threat of a landfall in the US has increased. Take a look at the 5-day forecast for this storm. As you can see, the track is further west than forecasted yesterday. There is a lot of uncertainty with this storm. In today’s update, the National Hurricane Center reminded people this forecast is not set in stone. In fact, the NHC reports average track errors in their forecast are 200-300 miles 4 to 5 days away from that time period. Therefore, when the storm could be in the greater New York area, the actual track could wind up being further west, putting a major population center in the path, or it could be further east, leaving New York with little to no impact from the storm.
It’s a very serious situation that bodes close watch for those along the east coast. Below this paragraph is another graphic that shows the threat for tropical storm force winds over a given area in the next 5 days.. You can see the threat areas for tropical storm force winds over the coming days. Yesterday threat was pegged at 10%-20% for the New York area. Today that threat has increased to 30%-40%. This takes into account the shift in the forecasted track of the storm.
Again I want to stress that an actual location for landfall is not known. It’s not even known if Hurricane Earl will make landfall. But this is a very dangerous storm that everyone from South Carolina all the way up to Maine and Canada’s eastern coast need to keep an eye on.