Earl update:

Right now Earl is plunging the North Atlantic and streaming northwest as a powerful Category 4 storm with peak winds near 135 m.p.h.

But for all the sound a fury, and folks along the North Carolina coast should stay alert, this still could turn out to be a decent Labor Day weekend at the Jersey Shore.

As Dave Tolleris at Weather Risk noted this morning, Earl has moved in a more northwesterly direction that models have projected. The National Hurricane Center, however, still thinks it will make a right turn near Cape Hatteras and head northeast.

The hurricane center says it will be steered by an area of high pressure over the North Atlantic and a trough coming off the Eastern seaboard, together they would nudge Earl off the coast.

If all goes well, a weakened Earl would be off the Nova Scotia coast by Saturday morning, and the seas would calm down.

We do offer one caveat: A storm doesn't have to make landfall to cause trouble. Two of the worst hurricanes in New Jersey history -- in 1938 and 1944 -- did not make landfall anywhere near the Shore.

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