Hurricane Earl

Aug 24, 2010 - Sep 6, 2010

Hurricane Earl was the first major hurricane to threaten New England since Hurricane Bob in 1991. The fifth named storm of the season, Earl originated from a tropical wave to west of the Cape Verde Islands on August 25, 2010. Tracking nearly due west, the system attained tropical storm intensity within hours of genesis. After maintaining winds of 50 mph for nearly two days, Earl began to strengthen as it neared the Lesser Antilles. The storm intensified into a hurricane on August 29 and later a major hurricane on August 30 as it brushed the Leeward Islands. A temporary weakening trend took place as Earl moved northwestward, contributed to moderate southwesterly wind shear, but intensification later resumed by September 1. Once reorganized, Earl reached its peak winds of 145 mph. Executing a gradual curve to the northeast, the hurricane slowly weakened over decreasing sea surface temperatures; the storm's center passed roughly 85 mi east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on September 3. Accelerating northeastward, the system briefly weakened to a tropical storm before reattaining hurricane strength as it made landfall near Western Head, Nova Scotia.
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