Hurricane Earl to bring blustery weather Thursday, Friday

Rest of holiday weekend clear for beachgoers

August 31, 2010|By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun

There is still plenty of uncertainty about just how close Hurricane Earl will come to the Delmarva coast when it passes by early Friday morning, and how much, if any, damage to expect.

But holiday travelers determined to hit the beaches for the long Labor Day weekend can probably count on fine weather once the storm clears the region later on Friday.

The National Weather Service is predicting showery, blustery weather for the resorts late Thursday and Friday. But skies should clear quickly as the storm races off to the northeast, and beachgoers can expect sunny skies and highs near 80 degrees from Saturday through Monday.

The National Hurricane Center on Tuesday posted a Hurricane Watch for the Outer Banks, from north of Surf City to the Virginia border, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds.

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued farther south, from Cape Fear, N.C., to Surf City.

More watches and warnings could be posted for Delmarva as the storm gets closer. Interests from Virginia to New England were advised to monitor Earl's progress.

While the beach weather may look perfect by Saturday, swimmers will need to be wary of rough surf, dangerous shore break and rip currents through the weekend until seas calm.

The weather service said Earl's approach would begin affecting surf conditions on the Delmarva beaches Wednesday. Long-period swells from the storm were expected to produce a high risk of rip currents on the beaches through the day, with more to come.

The risk of coastal flooding is also likely to rise as Earl approaches.

The storm appears unlikely to have much noticeable impact on Baltimore. Earl's heavy rain and strong winds will be confined to the coastal regions, closer to the storm's center, according to weather service forecasters in Sterling, Va.

Farther inland — after another day in the 90s on Thursday, tying the all-time record for 90-degree days in one year — the Baltimore region could see a slight chance for showers after noon as a cold front passes by, forecasters said.

Beyond Friday, the weekend for Baltimore looks mostly sunny and mild, with daytime highs in the low 80s after a cold front ushers in cooler, drier air from the northwest.

frank.roylance@baltsun.com

http://twitter.com/froylance

Maryland weather blog: Frank Roylance on meteorology

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