Ernesto reaches hurricane strength as it approaches the Yucatan

By: Angela Fritz , 8:55 PM GMT on August 07, 2012

Ernesto strengthened to a category 1 hurricane this afternoon after the morning hurricane hunter mission found winds of 80 mph, which is unusual for a hurricane without an eye wall. The hunters also found a minimum central pressure of 984 mb, which has dropped since this morning. The next hurricane hunter mission is scheduled to reach the center of the hurricane around 8pm EDT. The rain bands from Ernesto have reached the coast of Belize and Mexico as it continues to move west along the coast of Honduras, and landfall is expected north of the the Belize/Mexico border tonight around midnight. The Yucatan Basin buoy is now reporting gusts up to 53 mph, with sustained winds around 40 mph and 19 foot waves. These gusts are about 10 mph stronger than this morning's readings. Weather stations along the coast of Mexico and Belize aren't reporting winds stronger than 10 mph, however, they are expected to pick up around 8 or 9pm EDT tonight. The island of Roatan in Honduras is experiencing winds around 15 mph this afternoon, along with some light to moderate rainfall. Honduras seems to be the most impacted country so far, although they have avoided issuing evacuations. Nicaragua, however, has evacuated 1,500 people as of last night, and Mexico's authorities have evacuated around 600 residents from Punta Allen, which is a fishing village between Cozumel and Chetumal.

Visible satellite imagery suggests Ernesto still has the potential to develop an eye wall before landfall, as strong, organized thunderstorms are present in all four quadrants of the hurricane. Infrared satellite imagery shows the clockwise circulation at high levels (the upper level anti-cyclone) which will help ventilate the hurricane and could support further enhancement. If Ernesto wasn't approaching landfall, it would likely continue to strengthen and could have even experienced a period of rapid intensification, given the heat content of the Caribbean Sea. Wind shear around the hurricane remains low at 5-10 knots.


Figure 1. Radar image from Belize as the outer rain bands of Ernesto approach. This image was captured at 2:30pm EDT.


Figure 2. IR satellite imagery of Hurricane Ernesto captured at 4:15pm EDT.

Forecast for Ernesto
Ernesto will continue to track west this afternoon and evening, making landfall north of the Belize/Mexico border around midnight tonight. Given the current state of the hurricane, some more intensification is possible over the next few hours as it approaches land. Heavy rains continue to be the main threat from Hurricane Ernesto. The Hurricane Center is forecasting 4 to 8 inches of rain to fall, increasing in the higher elevation of Belize. After landfall, the storm will take about a day to cross the Yucatan, and the terrain will diminish its winds. Once Ernesto re-emerges over water into the Bay of Campeche in the southern Gulf of Mexico, wind shear will be light and ocean waters warm with high heat content. Ernesto is then expected to redevelop some strength and potentially regain hurricane status while over water, which a few of the models are suggesting. Second landfall will probably occur Friday morning around Veracruz, Mexico, but could reach land anywhere from Tuxapan to Coatzacoalcos.


Figure 3. Webcam image from Caye Walker Village in Belize.

Angela


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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Quoting Gorty:
92L is now orange.




your late
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Revenge of the Vintage?
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Quoting RussianWinter:


When did this change happen, Old Man?
2000 or 2002, whenever they started naming subtropical storms.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting popartpete:
I don't like it now when The Weather Channel airs special shows in prime time. I've been a viewer since 1985, and John Hope would have preempted any program all night when we have a land falling hurricane. I love TWC, but I like the actual weather versus 'shows'. Although I miss the past, this blog is probably my number one source for information these days.


Agreed! TWC should go back to being 24/7 weather coverage and analysis.
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Quoting Grothar:
One very rarely see white in these.

This looks like it is already a storm before even coming off the coast of Africa. Never seen that before.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
701. pottery 9:32 PM EDT
Quoting angiest
:


It may be something lost in time (although TBH I don't know how long they have been tagging invests). There are hysterical raisins, afterall, why weather alerts are still sent in all-caps.

This can't be good......

------------

Hysterical Raisins must be made from Grapes of Wrath.....
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm so confused now.
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Quoting taco2me61:


Sorry Taz but it does get a new name when it crosses into the East Pacific....

Taco :o)



took some time but found it so no they dont


It used to be that when a Pacific named storm crossed North America and made it to the Atlantic (or vice versa), it would receive the next name on the respective basin's list. This policy has since been changed to a tropical cyclone keeping its name if it remains a tropical cyclone during the entire passage. Only if it dissipates and then re-forms does it get renamed.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


No it doesn't. Taz is correct.

Subject: B5) What happens to the name of a tropical cyclone if it moves from the Atlantic regions to the Northeast Pacific, or vice versa? Contributed by Chris Landsea

The rule used to be that if the tropical storm or hurricane moved into a different basin (see F1 for more about the basins), then it was renamed to whatever name was next on the list for the area.

.............However, these rules have now changed at the National Hurricane Center and if the system remains a tropical cyclone as it moves across Central America, then it will keep the original name. Only if the tropical cyclone dissipates with just a tropical disturbance remaining, will the hurricane warning center give the system a new name assuming it becomes a tropical cyclone once again in its new basin.


When did this change happen, Old Man?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Thing342:
Closest a storm has come to crossing between basins since the policy change is when 2010 TD 11-E dissipated over Mexico, but regenerated into TS Hermine.

I think that the Alma Arthur storm in 2008 was pretty close
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

The first Invest for August this year would be 2012/08/01, the second 2012/08/02.
Right through to 100 if it needs be.
Simple....


10 characters versus 3 doesn't strike me as an improvement.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RussianWinter:


Well, the good thing is, if this thing gets strong early enough, it will be a fish storm and will avoid hitting any land apart from maybe tropical storm force winds in the Cape Verde isles.

This will not be the storm that could potentially go to Bermuda, Nova Scotia, New England, Bahamas, or South East United States....






Right?

RIght????



Wrong,

Wrong
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:
Eye is clearing right at landfall.

This is probably right at 100mph.

Agreed. tight little core.
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Quoting Grothar:
One very rarely see white in these.



Oh my! That is VERY rare. It's basically a TD/TS over Africa...lol
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Quoting taco2me61:


Sorry Taz but it does get a new name when it crosses into the East Pacific....

Taco :o)


No, Taz is correct. They retain their names unless in the other basin it doesn't develop on it's own (Alma-Arthur in 2008, TD-11E and Hermine in 2010)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

The first Invest for August this year would be 2012/08/01, the second 2012/08/02.
Right through to 100 if it needs be.
Simple....

what about other basins or would there just be a global invest naming system?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting taco2me61:


Sorry Taz but it does get a new name when it crosses into the East Pacific....

Taco :o)


No it doesn't. Taz is correct.

Subject: B5) What happens to the name of a tropical cyclone if it moves from the Atlantic regions to the Northeast Pacific, or vice versa? Contributed by Chris Landsea

The rule used to be that if the tropical storm or hurricane moved into a different basin (see F1 for more about the basins), then it was renamed to whatever name was next on the list for the area.

.............However, these rules have now changed at the National Hurricane Center and if the system remains a tropical cyclone as it moves across Central America, then it will keep the original name. Only if the tropical cyclone dissipates with just a tropical disturbance remaining, will the hurricane warning center give the system a new name assuming it becomes a tropical cyclone once again in its new basin.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:


Not sure I've ever heard of a hot tower core...lol. That would be the eye.

They do exist, but are typically only observed in severe convection. Here is an example from that bad derecho from not too long ago.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Who are you calling "old"??

Rampant Disrespect, there!
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Quoting pottery:

The first Invest for August this year would be 2012/08/01, the second 2012/08/02.
Right through to 100 if it needs be.
Simple....


If it ain't broke don't fix it.

And the Pacific has 3 areas, West, Central and East.

Tropical Cyclone Imagery - Storm Floaters


North Atlantic
East Pacific
Central Pacific
West Pacific

92L
Ernesto
Florence
93E
Gilma
No Storms
13W
91W
Haikui

Bay of Bengal
South Indian
South Pacific
South Atlantic
No Storms
No Storms
No Storms
No Storms
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Quoting RussianWinter:


Well, the good thing is, if this thing gets strong early enough, it will be a fish storm and will avoid hitting any land apart from maybe tropical storm force winds in the Cape Verde isles.

This will not be the storm that could potentially go to Bermuda, Nova Scotia, New England, Bahamas, or South East United States....






Right?

RIght????

Not really. :P
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Derived from (NHC) ATCF data for HurricaneErnesto for 8August12amGMT:
MinimumPressure decreased from 983millibars to 980millibars
MaxSusWinds increased from 70knots(81mph)130km/h to 75knots(86mph)139km/h
Its vector changed from 303.8*NWest@14.5mph(23.3km/h) to 277.7*West@17.6mph(28.4km/h)
(Hard to believe Ernesto made a 26.1degree turn)

CZM-Cozumel :: TUY-Tulum :: CTM-Chetumal :: SJX-Sarteneja :: MHIC-GreatSwanIsland

The easternmost dot on the connected line-segments marks Ernesto's position on its 96th hour as a TropicalStorm
The easternmost dot on the shortest straight line is where TS.Ernesto became HurricaneErnesto, and its most recent position

The shortest line is a straightline projection through TS.Ernesto's 2 most recent positions to its closest approach (within 18miles or 29 kilometres) to a coastline
7August@~8:54:38amGMT: TS.Ernesto had passed ~9.6miles(15.5kilometres)NNEast of IslaPequena
(LittlesSwanIsland is buried under the eastern end of the MHICblob)
7August12pmGMT: TS.Ernesto had been headed for passage over PuntaMosquitero SianKa'an (SJXdumbbell)
7August6pmGMT: H.Ernesto was heading for passage over SianKa'an dueWest of PuntaAllen (TUYdumbbell)
8August12amGMT: H.Ernesto was heading for passage over RioIndio,CostaMaya in ~1/2.hour from now (when this comment was posted)

Copy&paste vsa, mhic-17.416n83.895w, sjx-19.175n87.54w, ctm, tuy-19.79n87.58w, czm, snj, 16.2n81.2w-16.7n82.2w, 16.7n82.2w-17.3n83.3w, 17.3n83.3w-17.8n84.4w, 17.8n84.4w-18.5n85.5w, 18.5n85.5w-18.7n87.1w, 18.5n85.5w-18.767n87.67w into the GreatCircleMapper for a larger-scale map and other information
The previous mapping for comparison.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WxGeekVA:
WOW STRONG african wave!!!


If anything this will be the wave that knocks out the SAL for good.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
One very rarely see white in these.



Well, the good thing is, if this thing gets strong early enough, it will be a fish storm and will avoid hitting any land apart from maybe tropical storm force winds in the Cape Verde isles.

This will not be the storm that could potentially go to Bermuda, Nova Scotia, New England, Bahamas, or South East United States....






Right?

RIght????
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
717. Gorty
92L is now orange.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MTWX:
Good to see some of the old faces around here!

Sorry been off the last few weeks (much needed vacation to the mountains of Montana ;))



Who are you calling "old"??
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:


W fer West Pac, C for Central Pacific, and E for well, u know.


Itsa BIG Basin.


: )


Gee, thanks for the info Pat? :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting all4hurricanes:

probably the same reason they started naming hurricanes who wants all those numbers, and if there is more than one that might get confusing

The first Invest for August this year would be 2012/08/01, the second 2012/08/02.
Right through to 100 if it needs be.
Simple....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
713. MTWX
Good to see some of the old faces around here!

Sorry been off the last few weeks (much needed vacation to the mountains of Montana ;))

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Closest a storm has come to crossing between basins since the policy change is when 2010 TD 11-E dissipated over Mexico, but regenerated into TS Hermine.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Eye is clearing right at landfall.

This is probably right at 100mph.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



bogeyman


Well, it's no Slenderman....
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Quoting Grothar:
One very rarely see white in these.


That white dot is the eye looking for "Water"

Taco :o)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Hurricane 05L

UW-CIMSS Automated Satellite-Based
Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT)
Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Estimation Algorithm

Current Intensity Analysis



UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 08 AUG 2012 Time : 001500 UTC
Lat : 18:42:54 N Lon : 87:08:42 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
4.0 / 987.3mb/ 65.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
4.0 4.2 4.2

Center Temp : -77.0C Cloud Region Temp : -71.2C

Scene Type : UNIFORM CDO CLOUD REGION

Positioning Method : SPIRAL ANALYSIS

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 102km
- Environmental MSLP : 1012mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 25.9 degrees



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WOW STRONG african wave!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:



that is vary old


So beat me with a wet noodle
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Wow... What an intense wave!



bogeyman
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting 1900hurricane:

Emerging eye, or hot tower core? I'm going with the latter, although it is hard to tell without visible.


Not sure I've ever heard of a hot tower core...lol. That would be the eye.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
It was 2002 when they established cross-over systems retain they're name
that's also when they started naming subtropical cyclones
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting angiest:


It may be something lost in time (although TBH I don't know how long they have been tagging invests). There are hysterical raisins, afterall, why weather alerts are still sent in all-caps.

This can't be good......
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MississippiWx:


Here you go, Pat.

That's no moon...



Emerging eye, or hot tower core? I'm going with the latter, although it is hard to tell without visible.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
So if it passes into the Pacific, what would it be named?





Houdini
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:




if the Ernesto gos intoo the E PAC it will still be called Ernesto


Sorry Taz but it does get a new name when it crosses into the East Pacific....

Taco :o)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

They start at 90 and end at 99 and repeat.
"L" for Atl and "E" for Pacific.

It's a ridiculous system....

Why not year/month/number ?
Who knows?

probably the same reason they started naming hurricanes who wants all those numbers, and if there is more than one that might get confusing
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


You're forcing me to take out my globe.



Wow... What an intense wave!
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Quoting Grothar:
So if it passes into the Pacific, what would it be named?



If it fully dissipates and then regenerates, then the H name in the Pacific. However, if the storm does NOT dissipate, it will keep the name Ernesto.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather