Just a quick note on Earl as he is now a cat 2 storm with winds of 100mph (cat 2 range: 96-110mph) and is pretty much on top of the northern leeward islands. Central pressure is 969mb, and he's moving WNW at 15mph. Location is about 18.1N, 62W. His eye is to the north, but the convection remains strong in all quadrants, with the greater part to the south and west of the eye because of remnant winds from Danielle from the north and east. If he stays on the forecast track, he'll pass north of the US VIs by about 80-90 miles (I agree with Tom J. in that estimate - see below). However, the forecast also has Earl as a major cat 3 hurricane as he passes north of the VIs, so the convection will still be strong, even at that distance. Currently, Tropical Storm force winds are estimated to be within 175 miles from the center, and hurricane force within 50 miles. Circulation is good over the entire troposphere, although still not as strong as Danielle.
I got this from Tom J. (St. Thomas) yesterday evening (his evening): "we are about buttoned down with a few last minute things to complete in the daylight of morning........if the projected path turns to reality we should be OK with the eye over 90 miles to the north..........I'm ready for some FISH AND CHIPS!!"
I know some of you have friends and families on assorted islands in that corner of the Caribbean. I'll post anything else I hear later today.
You can follow the rainbands and see his eye from the radars on the islands. Here's one from the Meteorological service of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba:
Click on either link under St. Maarten (I went with Cappi).
As Earl gets closer to Puerto Rico, you can switch to watching it on the US NWS radar based there: http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/radar.php?rid=jua
Click on the Long Range Images 'Loop' for the long-range movie, and as it gets closer, the Short Range Images, 'Loop' (next to either Composite or Base) for the short-range movie.
More later, including Danielle and the Atlantic Blobette,
Blog archives at http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com/
These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I was there and was going to "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.