Like a bitter friend who wants to make sure you're not having any fun at the party either, Earl is getting increasingly sour as the long weekend approaches. Earlier today, odds that the city would face tropical-storm conditions were one in four. (Jersey Shore and the Hamptons were 50/50.) But after an overnight downgrade, Earl is now back up to Category 4. How badly New York will be affected depends on when Earl makes its expected turn northeast. A later turn means landfall on the eastern tip of North Carolina late Thursday or early Friday and hurricane-force winds in Long Island. "Just a small change in the direction of the storm could raise an impact, and the large waves, beach erosion and rip currents will be a problem along the East Coast," says Bill Read, director of the National Hurricane Center. Should Earl hit the Hamptons, the American Red Cross is prepared to open as many as 50 shelters and the Long Island Power Authority plans to bring an additional 1,600 line workers in from out of state. But hey, at least we'll finally get a break from the historic heat.
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