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Planet Earth

Hurricane Earl Tracks Past Virgin Islands, Reaches Category 4 Status....

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyAugust 31, 2010 2:39 AM

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Hurricane-Earl-Pinhole-Eye.jpg

...and Category 5 may not be out of the cards. At right is the latest image of the storm, featuring the pinhole eye often seen when a hurricane is rapidly intensifying, as Earl has today. Meanwhile, Earl now has a little sister, Fiona, who is following him across the Atlantic. Earl has lashed Puerto Rico today with its rainbands, and that may be the treatment the U.S. coast also gets if Earl stays offshore. Either way, we have to expect a very intense hurricane for the next few days. Eric Berger has more on the chances of Earl hitting the East Coast, and the dilemma the storm presents for emergency planners. Do you evacuate parts of North Carolina? Earl isn't certain to hit land at all; the odds for the moment seem against it. But it could certainly happen. And if you don't evacuate, and Earl hits as a major hurricane....

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