Tropical Storm Ernesto
Tropical Storm Ernesto raced across most of the Caribbean Sea over the weekend but is now slowing down. Due to its speed and lack of development, T.S. Ernesto remained further south than some models had predicted. Now that the storm has slowed down, it can strengthen over the warm western Caribbean waters. He is likely to make landfall along the coast of Belize Wednesday morning.
T.S. Ernesto’s center is located near 15.8N 80.5W; has a central pressure of 994mb (and falling); has maximum sustained winds of 65mph; and is now moving WNW at only 9mph.
T.S. Ernesto is predicted to steadily strengthen over the next 48 hours and top out with 90mph sustained winds. He should reach hurricane strength sometime in the next 24 hours. While over Belize and southeastern Mexico, Ernesto will weaken. There is a chance the storm will re-emerge over the southern Gulf of Mexico and regain some of its strength before making a second landfall over the eastern coast of Mexico near the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Thereafter, the storm will dissipate over the Mexican landmass.
Figure 1. NHC’s map of Ernesto’s current position and likely future track and intensity forecast as of 2P EDT on 20120806. Circles with H’s indicate hurricane strength; with S’s indicate tropical storm strength; with D’s indicate tropical depression strength.
Unfortunately, there will not be any potential for short-term drought relief by Ernesto over the US. Mexico will benefit from its likely prodigious rainfall, however.
Tropical Storm Florence
T.S. Florence has dissipated and is now a post-tropical cyclone. Its center is located near 16.4N 40.2W; has maximum sustained winds of 35mph; is moving W at 15mph.
The storm complex that was Florence will gradually turn toward the northwest over the next five days, remaining well out to sea. Recall that this was a Cape Verde storm and this track and behavior is common for these type of storms: they simply form too far east to have any impact on any Western Hemispheric landmasses.
Other Potential Storms
Another tropical wave has transited Africa, but this wave is much weaker than Ernesto or Florence was. The next tropical wave is just west of central Africa and should enter the Atlantic Ocean in a few days’ time. No other tropical development is likely in the next week.