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Hurricane Earl, September 3, 2010

Event Overview –

Hurricane Earl was a long-lived tropical cyclone that became the fifth named storm of the 2010 Tropical Season. Earl developed from a tropical wave west of the Cape Verde islands on August 25, quickly strengthened to a tropical storm, and then became a hurricane on August 29 near the Lesser Antilles. Earl became a major hurricane on August 30 as it moved past the Leeward Islands. After a temporary weakening trend, the storm quickly reorganized and reached its peak intensity of 145 mph (Category 4) on September 2, coupled with a minimum barometric pressure of 927 mb (27.37 inches/mercury) as it moved east of the Bahamas and well east of Florida. As the storm started to curve more to the north and northeast, it slowly weakened over cooler sea surface temperatures and passed about 85 miles east of Cape Hatteras during the morning of Friday September 3, 2010. Earl then accelerated northeastward making landfall over Nova Scotia as a category one hurricane (Figure 1).

Damage estimated at over $40 million occurred in the Leeward Islands with one fatality. In North Carolina, only moderate damage occurred over the Outer Banks, with damage estimates of about $3.8 million. No fatalities were reported in North Carolina as the result of Earl.

 

Figure 1. Track of Hurricane Earl, August 25 through September 6, 2010. The storm passed about 85 miles east of Cape Hatteras.

Figure 2. Category 4 Hurricane East as it passes east of the Bahamas and Florida on September 2, 2010.

Figure 3. NASA satellite image of Hurricane Earl passing northeast of the Outer Banks on September 3, 2010.

 

 

 

 


Evolution and Impacts –

Hurricane Earl was the second major hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic Season, following Danielle, a system that only affected shipping interests out at sea. Earl passed through the Northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Monday August 31, 2010. The storm's worst effects were over St. Kitts, St. Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, and Anguilla where an 88 MPH measured wind gust occurred before the wind instrument malfunctioned. Earl downed numerous trees and power lines with some minor structural damage noted. As Earl traversed the open Atlantic Ocean waters northeast of the Bahamas, Hurricane warnings were issued for Eastern North Carolina and the Outer Banks with Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings to the north and south of North Carolina.

The center of Hurricane Earl passed roughly 85 mph east of the Cape Hatteras (Figures 4 and 5). Earl’s large size brought a significant storm surge to the Outer Banks, along with hurricane-force winds. The highest winds were record at Buxton with sustained winds of 67 mph and gusts to 83 mph. A storm surge of nearly 5 feet inundated areas around Hatteras Island, shutting down Highway 12. Heavy rains also accompanied the storm with 4.5 inches measured in Cape Hatteras. Numerous homes around Hatteras Island were flooded by rising waters. Despite the large area of hurricane force winds, wind damage was moderate, with mostly homes losing shingles and minor damage to businesses along the Outer Banks and around Manteo. Damage in Dare County totaled $500,000, with 79 houses sustaining minor damage and another six receiving major damage, mainly due to storm surge. In Hyde County, strong winds caused about 2 million dollars in crop damage, and some fallen trees in the Swanquarter and Fairfield areas.  Maps of sustained wind (Figure 6) and rainfall amounts (Figure 7) are included below.

Figure 4. Radar image of Hurricane Earl as it passes east of the North Carolina coast early in the morning of September 3, 2010.

 

Figure 5. Satellite image of Hurricane Earl passing east of the Outer Banks around 5 am September 3, 2010.

Figure 6. Map of Peak Wind Gusts during Hurricane Earl, September 3, 2010 (courtesy Belkys Melendez)

Figure 7. Rainfall amounts during Hurricane Earl (courtesy Belkys Melendez)

 

POST TROPICAL CYCLONE REPORT...HURRICANE EARL
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEWPORT/MOREHEAD CITY NC
556 PM EDT WED SEP 8 2010
 
 
NOTE: THE DATA SHOWN HERE ARE PRELIMINARY....AND SUBJECT TO UPDATES
AND CORRECTIONS AS APPROPRIATE.
 
THIS REPORT INCLUDES EVENTS OCCURRING WHEN WATCHES AND/OR WARNINGS
WERE IN EFFECT FOR EARL.
 
COUNTIES INCLUDED...CARTERET...HYDE...DARE...PITT...ONSLOW...
CRAVEN
 
A. LOWEST SEA LEVEL PRESSURE/MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS AND PEAK GUSTS
---------------------------------------------------------------------
METAR OBSERVATIONS...
NOTE: ANEMOMETER HEIGHT IS 10 METERS AND WIND AVERAGING IS 2 MINUTES
---------------------------------------------------------------------
LOCATION  ID    MIN    DATE/     MAX      DATE/     PEAK    DATE/
LAT  LON        PRES   TIME      SUST     TIME      GUST    TIME
DEG DECIMAL     (MB)   (UTC)     (KT)     (UTC)     (KT)    (UTC)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
KMRH-BEAUFORT AIRPORT NC                                            
34.72 -76.65   1000.7 03/0306   310/032  03/0510   290/039 03/0505  
 
KHSE-FRISCO AIRPORT NC                                              
35.22 -75.62    990.1 03/0300   320/034  03/1107   330/057 03/1159  
 
KMQI-MANTEO                                                         
35.90 -75.70                    350/033  03/0900   350/054 03/1000  
 
KFFA-KILL DEVIL HILLS                                               
36.00 -75.70                    330/027  03/1240   350/051 03/1140  
 
KNKT-CHERRY POINT                                                   
34.90 -76.90   1001.7 03/0400   340/026  03/0400   340/033 03/0400  
 
REMARKS: 
 
NON-METAR OBSERVATIONS... 
NOTE: ANEMOMETER HEIGHT IN METERS AND WIND AVERAGING PERIOD IN
MINUTES INDICATED UNDER MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WIND IF KNOWN
---------------------------------------------------------------------
LOCATION  ID    MIN    DATE/     MAX      DATE/     PEAK    DATE/
LAT  LON        PRES   TIME      SUST     TIME      GUST    TIME
DEG DECIMAL     (MB)   (UTC)     (KT)     (UTC)     (KT)    (UTC)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CEDAR ISLAND                                                       
35.10 -76.30    999.0 03/1230   340/049  03/0800   340/058 03/0900  
                                      
STUMPY POINT                                                       
35.70 -75.80    996.0 03/0800   345/047  03/0900   330/053 03/1000  
                                      
REMARKS: 
 
 
B. MARINE OBSERVATIONS...
NOTE: ANEMOMETER HEIGHT IN METERS AND WIND AVERAGING PERIOD IN
MINUTES INDICATED UNDER MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WIND IF KNOWN
---------------------------------------------------------------------
LOCATION  ID    MIN    DATE/     MAX      DATE/     PEAK    DATE/
LAT  LON        PRES   TIME      SUST     TIME      GUST    TIME
DEG DECIMAL     (MB)   (UTC)     (KT)     (UTC)     (KT)    (UTC)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
DUCN7 - DUCK PIER , NC                                              
36.18  -75.75   993.3 03/0900   350/044  03/0948   360/059 03/0800  
                                   
 
CLKN7 - CAPE LOOKOUT , NC                                           
34.62  -76.53   999.5 03/0900   320/035  03/0900   330/045 03/0800  
                                   
 
41035 - ONSLOW BAY, NC                                              
34.47  -77.28  1002.4 03/0920   340/027  03/0920   340/033 03/0900  
                                   
 
41025 - DIAMOND SHOALS , NC                                         
35.00  -75.40   984.5 03/1250   330/045  03/1300   330/060 03/1300  
                                   
 
ORIN7                                                               
35.80  -75.55   991.9 03/0400   340/033  03/0400   340/052 03/0400  
                                   
 
REMARKS: 
 
 
C. STORM TOTAL RAINFALL FROM 0000 UTC SEP 03 UNTIL 1600 UTC SEP 03
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CITY/TOWN                    COUNTY               ID         RAINFALL
LAT LON                                                       (IN)   
DEG DECIMAL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
BEAUFORT                     CARTERET            KMRH          0.82  
34.72  -76.65
 
BOGUE FIELD                  CARTERET            NJM           0.48  
34.71  -77.03
 
CHERRY POINT                 CRAVEN              NKT           0.67  
34.92  -76.88
 
GREENVILLE                   PITT                PGV           0.39  
35.59  -77.37
 
HATTERAS                     DARE                HSE           4.51  
35.14   75.37
 
KILL DEVIL HILLS             OUTER BANKS DARE    KFFA          3.43  
36.01  -75.67
 
KINSTON                      LENOIR              KISO          0.14  
35.27  -77.59
 
JACKSONVILLE                 ONSLOW              KOAJ          0.18  
34.76  -77.40
 
MANTEO                       OUTER BANKS DARE    KMQI          3.98  
35.89  -75.67
 
NEW BERN                     CRAVEN              KEWN          0.64  
35.11  -77.08
 
NEWPORT                      CARTERET            KMHX          0.71  
34.78  -76.86
 
REMARKS: PRECIPITATION BEGAN IN EARNEST DURING THE EVENING HOURS ON
THE 2ND AND CONTINUED THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS ON THE 3RD ACROSS
EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA INCLUDING OUTER BANKS DARE COUNTY WHERE THE
HEAVIEST RAINFALL WAS REPORTED.  
 
 
 
D. INLAND FLOODING...
---------------------------------------------------------------------
DARE...MINOR FRESHWATER FLOODING OCCURRED ON THE OUTER BANKS WHERE
THREE TO FIVE INCHES OF RAINFALL WAS REPORTED.        
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
E. MAXIMUM STORM SURGE AND STORM TIDE...
OFFICIAL TIDE GAUGES NOTED WITH LEADING G
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
COUNTY           CITY/TOWN        SURGE   TIDE   DATE/   BEACH       
                 OR LOCATION      (FT)    (FT)   TIME    EROSION     
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CARTERET         CEDAR ISLAND      2.00   2.00  03/0330    MINOR   
 
CRAVEN           CHERRY BRANCH     3.00   3.00  03/0400     NONE   
 
CRAVEN           NORTH HARLOWE     2.50   2.50  03/0330     NONE   
 
OUTER BANKS DA   HATTERAS VILLAG   4.70   4.70  03/1342 MODERATE   
 
OUTER BANKS DA G DUCK              2.00   5.00  03/0200    MINOR   
 
 
REMARKS: A TWO FOOT STORM SURGE AND FIVE FOOT STORM TIDE OCCURRED AT
DUCK AT AROUND NOON ON THE 3RD AS WELL. 
 
 
 
F. TORNADOES...
---------------------------------------------------------------------
(DIST)CITY/TOWN              COUNTY           DATE/         EF SCALE 
LAT LON (DEG DECIMAL                          TIME(UTC)    (IF KNOWN)
DESCRIPTION                                                          
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
G. STORM IMPACTS BY COUNTY...
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
COUNTY            DEATHS           INJURIES             EVACUATIONS  
DESCRIPTION
---------------------------------------------------------------------
DARE                 0                 0                     YES  
 
OVER ONE HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGES WAS REPORTED IN DARE
COUNTY. A THREE TO FIVE FOOT SOUNDSIDE STORM SURGE WAS REPORTED FROM
RODANTHE SOUTH TO HATTERAS. OCEANSIDE SURGE WAS ONE TO TWO FEET. SIX
STRUCTURES RECEIVED MAJOR DAMAGE. SEVENTY NINE STRUCTURES WERE
REPORTED TO HAVE MINOR DAMAGE. SOME TREES AND POWER LINES WERE
DOWNED WITH SPORADIC POWER OUTAGES. WINDS GUSTED TO HURRICANE FORCE
ACROSS MANY AREAS ALONG OUTER BANKS DARE COUNTY WITH WIND GUSTS IN
EXCESS OF 80 MPH AT OREGON INLET MARINA AND RODANTHE ON THE
SOUNDSIDE. A WIND GUST OF 89 MPH WAS MEASURED BY A SKYWARN OBSERVER
JUST SOUTH OF NAGS HEAD AND EAST OF MANTEO ON THE BEACH. THREE TO
FIVE INCHES OF STORM TOTAL RAINFALL...DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS
ON THE 3RD...RESULTED IN MINOR FLOODING AND ENHANCED THE SURGE
EFFECTS. 
 
CARTERET             0                 0                     YES  
 
HIGHEST SURGE EFFECTS OCCURED ACROSS DOWNEAST CARTERET COUNTY AT
CEDAR ISLAND WITH A 2 FOOT SOUNDSIDE SURGE. WINDS GUSTED AS HIGH AS
66 MPH AT SEA LEVEL IN DOWNEAST CARTERET COUNTY DURING THE EARLY
MORNING HOURS ON THE 3RD. ONLY MINOR DAMAGE WAS REPORTED WITH A FEW
TREES AND POWER LINES DOWN ALONG WITH ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES. 
 
HYDE                 0                 0                     YES  
 
WINDS GUSTED TO NEAR HURRICANE FORCE ON OCRACOKE ISLAND DURING THE
EARLY MORNING HOURS ON THE 3RD WITH AN ESTIMATED SOUNDSIDE SURGE OF
TWO TO THREE FEET. OCEANSIDE SURGE WAS MINIMAL WITH AN ESTIMATED ONE
TO TWO FOOT STORM SURGE. OVER TWO MILLION DOLLARS IN DAMAGES WAS
ESTMATED TO CROPS ACROSS MAINLAND HYDE COUNTY. SOME SHINGLES WERE
TAKEN OFF SEVERAL STRUCTURES ACROSS OUTER BANKS HYDE COUNTY AT
OCRACOKE WITH NO DOLLAR DAMGE ESTIMATES GIVEN. SOME TREES AND POWER
LINES WERE DOWN WITH SPORADIC POWER OUTAGES. 
 
CRAVEN               0                 0                     NO   
 
A TWO TO THREE FOOT SOUND SIDE SURGE OCCURRED DURING THE EARLY
MORNING HOURS ON THE 3RD ALONG THE LOWER REACHES OF THE NEUSE RIVER
AT CLUBFOOT CREEK AND CHERRY BRANCH FERRY TERMINAL IN SOUTHERN
CRAVEN COUNTY. HIGHEST WIND GUSTS WERE MINIMAL TROPICAL STORM FORCE
PEAKING DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS ON THE 3RD. THERE WAS NO
DAMAGE REPORTED IN THE COUNTY. 
 
$$
 
Legend:
I-Incomplete Data
E-Estimated
 
COLE

Sources –

National Hurricane Center

Wikipedia

NASA

 





Damage Pictures from the Outer Banks
Photos courtesy of: National Weather Service, Newport/Morehead City, Virginian Pilot












Case Study Team:
Chris Collins

Belkys Melendez