An important thing to remember about hurricanes is that you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be in the eye of the storm to feel its impact.
Hurricane Earl is a case in point. While current forecasts indicate that EarlÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s center will stay out to sea, storm-related winds, storm surge, rainfall and surf are some of the hazards that U.S. East coast residents will face on land.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important for those living in areas covered by the National Hurricane CenterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (NHC) hurricane watch (currently in effect north of Surf City, North Carolina to Parramore Island, Virginia) to make their storm preparations now.
According to the latest NHC forecast, Earl is currently a Category 3 hurricane (with maximum sustained winds near 125 mph).
However, hurricane force winds extend outward up to 90 miles from EarlÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles, the NHC says.
In fact its wind probability product shows the probability of tropical-storm force winds (winds equal to or exceeding 39mph) in various East coast locations this weekend.
For example, Cape Hatteras, NC, and Nantucket, MA have a greater than 50 percent chance of tropical-storm force winds and New York City and Atlantic City, NJ, a greater than 20 percent chance.
Check out the NHC graphic below of EarlÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tropical storm force wind speed probabilities: