Tropical Depression Seven was born on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 11 AM in the Atlantic Ocean (up for speculation as we've yet to see a birth certificate, however), about 480 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. Six hours later, by the 5 PM advisory, the NHC upgraded TD 7 to Tropical Storm Earl.
Earl steadily strengthened over the next few days and became Hurricane Earl by Sunday, August 29 in an 830 AM update. By 5 PM that evening, Earl had 85 MPH winds and started to batter the northern Lesser Antilles with tropical storm and hurricane force winds.
By 2AM Monday, August 30, the center of Earl came very close to the island of Barbuda with 100 MPH winds.
At the 11 AM advisory that same day, Earl was upgraded to a Major Hurricane with 115 MPH winds, making it a category 3. Throughout the day, Earl continued to strengthen and became a category 4 hurricane with 135 MPH winds by the 5 PM advisory. The center of Earl pulled off to the northwest, sparing most of the Antilles from the worst of the winds.
At the 8 PM advisory on Tuesday, August 31, the coast of North Carolina was put under a Hurricane Watch for its anticipated close call later in the week.
Earl strengthened to a monster hurricane as it made its way towards the North Carolina coast, with 145 MPH winds at its strongest as of the 5 AM advisory on Thursday, September 2.
Numerous watches and warnings were issued from Bogue Inlet, NC, up the US East coast into Canada, stretching as far north as the province of Prince Edward Island. As the storm's center passed Cape Hatteras, NC, on Friday, September 3, it produced 60-70 MPH winds (with a peak gust of 83 MPH at Oregon Inlet, NC), causing some flooding and sporadic damage.
The storm continued up the East Coast, creating more localized flooding and damage through the day Friday. Earl was downgraded to a Tropical Storm at 11 PM that day, with 70 MPH winds.
Around 10 AM Saturday, August 4, the storm made its first landfall near Western Head, Nova Scotia, with a large swatch of tropical storm force winds battering the island. Winds of 58 MPH with gusts to 68 MPH were reported at McNabbs Island, and Lunenburg, NS reported a 69 MPH gust around the same time.
Earl continued to race across Nova Scotia during the day Saturday, making another landfall on Prince Edward Island around 1 PM Atlantic Time. The storm produced 50-60 MPH winds across the island, and continued to spring northeastward into the Gulf of St. Lawrence at a forward speed of almost 40 MPH.
The storm made a third landfall on the Magdelen Islands (part of Quebec) in the Gulf of St. Lawrence at 4:24 PM EDT with 70 MPH winds.
(Earl track images obtained from the National Hurricane Center's graphics archive of Hurricane Earl.)