Archive for Hurricane Earl
Sources: http://www.cnn.com 3rd September 2010
North Carolina’s Governor, Bev Perdue, has stated that her state has ‘dodged the bullet’ as hurricane Earl continued northwards having inflicted little damage upon the state. High winds and large waves buffeted North Carolina’s coast earlier today. However no injuries have been reported and structural damage appears to be minimal. The news will be welcome to more northern regions such as New York and New England who are next in line to be hit. Earl has now been downgraded from a Category 4 storm a couple of days ago to a Category 1 as winds dropped to 85 mph. The storm is moving North-Northeast at a pace of 23 mph. Although there are signs that hurricane Earl is dissipating (the eye has now collapsed according to CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf), residents of Cape Cod have been warned to be careful. No official evacuation has been ordered but one Sheriff’s Office (Barnstable County) has told people living in low-lying areas to leave their homes for the duration of the storm.
In April the hurricane forecast from Colorado State University predicted 15 named storms in the 2010 hurricane season from which 8 hurricanes would be produced, half of which will be ‘major storms’. With hurricane Earl advancing upon the US coast and two more tropical storms close behind (Fiona and Guston) this prediction is unlikely to fall short. An intense hurricane season could have three effects on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Firstly: strong winds and waves could push remaining oil out into fresh waters causing further environmental problems. Secondly: the clean-up mission in the Gulf could be jeopardised and even called off if weather conditions get too severe. Finally: if the storm was to pass directly over the spill then oil could be pushed up against the coastline.
There are no examples of the effect a hurricane will have on an oil spill so nobody knows what will happen. Some say storms may even help the clean-up operation by breaking up the oil into smaller particles that are more bio-degradable. Others say that this will just make contamination of fragile marshland on the coasts more likely. Will we ever know the true extent of the damage of the oil spill? Will lessons be learnt or simply brushed under the carpet?
Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news 2nd September 2010
Evacuations in South East USA are under way as Hurricane Earl, still a category 4 storm, nears the coast. For the moment the mandatory evacuations are confined to the islands of Ocracoke and Hatteras, both of which belong to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a region popular with tourists. Although a hurricane warning has been issued as far north as the Virginian border, Earl is not expected to make its way completely onto land, instead passing 80 miles off the coast. Such proximity will cause high-winds and waves.
With two other tropical storms following close behind Earl, called Fiona and Gaston respectively, is this a sign that weather conditions on the Caribbean are getting progressively more radical?
Source: BBC News 1st September 2010
Hurricane Earl is on its way towards the East coast of the United States with speculation that it may not make landfall after all. According to the National Hurricane Centre, the tropical storm is expected to turn North and run parallel to the East coast although they insist that it is far too early to tell how close Earl will come to land. Heavy rains and winds have already been experienced in Florida where residents have been told to prepare for evacuation. A similar situation is at hand on the islands of Turks and Caicos.
Hurricane Earl is currently a category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale (Katrina was a category 3 when it hit New Orleans) and has already caused large power-cuts and torrential rains in Puerto Rico. With Katrina still fresh in people’s minds (President Obama recently visited the city of New Orleans for the 5th anniversary of that storm), Earl is a reminder that the former was not a freak accident.