Vacationers rejoice as Hurricane Earl continues to move away from the mid-Atlantic. It is a fast moving storm, with the forward speed now in excess of 20 mph. Portions of New England, especially out by Cape Cod will get a lashing from Earl Friday evening. This storm is moving so quickly, that it's expected to be in portions of Canada as soon as Saturday.
The Outer Banks were hit fairly hard Thursday night as Earl brushed by the islands. Reports of two to six inches of rain fell across the length of the Outer Banks. Wind damage wasn't substantial, but some minor structural damage occurred, mainly tiles and shingles being blown off roofs. Some of the highest wind gusts approached minimal hurricane force, especially near Hatteras.
South of the Oregon Inlet, down toward the Hatteras area, there are reports of substantial overwash on Highway 12. Portions of that road are still closed and inaccessible, so if you have plans for the weekend in this area, definitely call ahead to make sure you can actually reach your vacation destination. Otherwise, the northern Outer Banks should be in decent shape, with the lights coming back on as of this writing. Virginia Beach was spared any real damage as well, with mainly just a soaking rain and gusty winds.
It will take the ocean a day or so to settle down. Expect rough seas on Saturday and an enhanced rip current threat, but by Sunday, the ocean should begin to return to normal. The weather will be fantastic not only at the beaches, but also here in central Virginia. A strong cold front is passing through Friday night and this will pave the way for highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s under mostly sunny skies.
Whatever you have planned, I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. What are some of your plans? Heading out of town or staying put? I'll be cheering on the Cavs at the season opener on Saturday evening and enjoying every second of the awesome weather!
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