Earl: Thursday morning update

Earl continues to track north-northwest as it approaches North Carolina, but the National Hurricane Center also continues to remain confident that it will bear right after it passes Hatteras.

That would keep it offshore, making a close approach to the Outer Banks before scooting northeastward off the coast of New Jersey.

Right now it is packing winds of 145 m.p.h., not that far off from a Category 5, and it is expected to be at least a Category 3 when it makes its nearest approach to Hatteras.

The hurricane center is looking for hurricane-force winds to arrive in North Carolina tonight, and any deviation westward in the track would be a dangerous one.

As for Delaware and New Jersey, nothing has changed in the outlook. A hurricane watch remains in effect for coastal Delaware, and a tropical-storm warning for coastal Jersey.