Fleet owners and truckers operating from North Carolina on through the Mid-Atlantic states are breathing a sigh of relief today as Hurricane Earl only lashed the Carolina coast with high winds and waves as it passed by last night.
But Earl remains a huge storm as it heads today toward southeastern New England. On the other hand, having been downgraded by the National Weather Service (NWS) from a very potent Category 4 to a Category 1 storm , it is packing much less of a punch as it moves north. NWS said ist maximum sustained winds have fallen to 85 mph.
North Carolina Gov. Bev Purdue (D) said her state had "dodged the bullet." CNN reported the governor said “there had been no loss of life and there seemed to be minimal damage from the hurricane” as it slid by her state.
Still, as reported by CNN.com, “the eye of the storm had collapsed.” CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf this morning said Earl "is starting to lose some of its structure. It is a dying storm, but is still a force to be reckoned with."
As of 11 am EDT, NWS placed Earl about 175 miles northeast of Cape Hatteras, NC, and said it was moving north-northeast at 21 mph. Staying ahead of the storm, NWS has indeed continued to issue various degrees of warnings from North Carolina to Nova Scotia. Click here to read a summary of storm watches and warnings posted by NWS in its latest advisory on Earl.
According to NWS, the storm is now “moving toward the North-Northeast [at a speed] near 21 mph. An increase in the forward speed and a turn toward the Northeast are expected in the next 12 to 24 hours. On the forecast track, the center of Earl will continue to move away from the North Carolina Outer Banks today and approach southeastern New England tonight.”
Time will very soon tell how hard New England and then Canada will be hit by Earl, for as one expert noted on a broadcast news program this week, “Hurricanes do not follow scripts.”