WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Hurricane Earl continues to rapidly intensify just north of the Leeward Islands. As of 11 AM Monday Hurricane Earl has become the second major hurricane (category 3 or higher) of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane warnings are now in effect for: parts of the northern Lesser Antilles, the British and U.S. Virgin islands, and parts of Puerto Rico.
As Earl nears the Carolina coast line on Thursday it will likely still be a major hurricane. The latest cone of uncertainty from the National Hurricane Center includes the Outer Banks and much of the mid Atlantic and northeast U.S. coast. This means a direct hit on any of these areas can't be ruled out although it is unlikely.
The latest forecast track keeps Earl just off of the North Carolina coastline on Thursday, however enormous surf is expected. Coastal erosion will be a concern as seas could climb to the 8 to 10 foot range. While the official forecast track keeps the center of the storm offshore, some forecast models show the possibility of tropical storm forced winds brushing the North Carolina coastline. Rain bands will be possible, especially at the coast depending on the track of Earl's center.
Now is the time to start monitoring www.wect.com for the very latest forecast information.