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 allancalderini:
Yeah I mean 92l THANKS.:)
Your welcome
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
.
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So i see i left chat and the party was over...didn't realize i was the life of the party...

anyway, nite all....cant wait to see what happened to Ernesto in the morning
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Quoting angiest:


Wee bit early for that.



so ture but still
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Most frustrating about the storms? You never really know what the true peak winds were... This can be a Category 2.


The NHC does post storm analysis with all storms. At that point they will make that determination of whether or not this was Cat1 or Cat2. They do a very thorough analysis so don't worry, the truth will come out eventually.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
If we get 4 we will be at 10


where did you learn to add like that? thats crazy!!! 6+4=10 wahhh :)
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GFDL still wants major intensification in the BOC:

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Quoting Grothar:
Flare-up of convection with Florence.



She's long gone, meet 92L to her east.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



hmmm other mx storm


Wee bit early for that.
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Link

Guidance for 92L thus far.
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If we get 4 we will be at 10
Quoting justsouthofnola:
the 18z gfs has 4 storms by the end of the run.... the next 2 weeks should be busy. there is no way we end up with without one storm making an impact if they materialize. not everyone can be a fish.
side note the gom seems to have a force field that keeps storms out. good news for me
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Consejo, Belize Current Conditions:

WInd: NW @ 13kts
Pressure: 1004mb
Temp: 77F

Webcam
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Ernesto was really boring..sorry my opinion.Gotta go catch you later.


yeah it was..see ya later Wash!
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Coming on now two!!


I've never seen two cyclones make landfall at almost exactly the same time ever before! Very interesting.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Most frustrating about the storms? You never really know what the true peak winds were... This can be a Category 2.


I think when they finally post landfall info that it'll show Cat 2 at the Yucatan. The SW-angled dip in trajectory could be a wobble -- seems quite rapid a turn for anything else while ramping up. I thought they always slowed down when making a sharp turn, right?
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Howdy All!

000
WTNT45 KNHC 072033
TCDAT5

HURRICANE ERNESTO DISCUSSION NUMBER 26
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052012
400 PM CDT TUE AUG 07 2012

ERNESTO HAS NOW BECOME A WELL-ORGANIZED TROPICAL CYCLONE WITH
DISTINCT CONVECTIVE BANDING FEATURES OVER ALL QUADRANTS OF THE
CIRCULATION...AND WELL-DEFINED CIRRUS-LEVEL OUTFLOW. THE INITIAL
INTENSITY IS KEPT AT 70 KT PENDING THE ARRIVAL OF ANOTHER AIR FORCE
HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT...SCHEDULED FOR A 0000 UTC FIX. GIVEN
THE CONDUCIVE CONDITIONS...ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS CERTAINLY
POSSIBLE UNTIL THE CENTER MOVES INLAND. RESTRENGTHENING IS
EXPECTED WHEN ERNESTO MOVES INTO THE BAY OF CAMPECHE...BUT RAPID
WEAKENING AND DISSIPATION SHOULD OCCUR AFTER THE SECOND LANDFALL IN
MEXICO DUE TO VERY HIGH TERRAIN. ALTHOUGH THE GLOBAL MODELS
SUGGEST THAT ERNESTO COULD REGENERATE OVER THE EASTERN PACIFIC...
THAT UNUSUAL EVENT IS NOT BEING PREDICTED AT THIS TIME.

BASED ON THE AIRCRAFT AND VISIBLE SATELLITE FIXES...THE
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION...300/13...CONTINUES. DYNAMICAL TRACK
MODELS CONTINUE TO INDICATE A TURN TOWARD THE WEST WITH ERNESTO
MOVING TO THE SOUTH OF A NARROW MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER THE GULF OF
MEXICO. HOWEVER...SINCE THE CENTER HAS MOVED A LITTLE FARTHER
NORTH THAN EXPECTED...THE OFFICIAL FORECAST TRACK IS SHIFTED A BIT
NORTH OF THE PREVIOUS ONE. THIS IS VERY CLOSE TO THE MODEL
CONSENSUS AND THE NEW ECMWF TRACK.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 07/2100Z 18.8N 86.2W 70 KT 80 MPH
12H 08/0600Z 19.4N 88.0W 70 KT 80 MPH...INLAND
24H 08/1800Z 19.7N 90.4W 45 KT 50 MPH...INLAND
36H 09/0600Z 19.8N 92.6W 55 KT 65 MPH...OVER WATER
48H 09/1800Z 19.8N 94.4W 65 KT 75 MPH...OVER WATER
72H 10/1800Z 19.5N 97.5W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
96H 11/1800Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER PASCH



Not surprisingly today Ernesto became a hurricane and continues to strengthen since then. However it is "too little too late" to affect guidance. Will be a rough time for Mexico however after the final landfall.





Of far more relevance and interest is that 92L has continued to organize:


Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook


000
ABNT20 KNHC 072358
TWOAT

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT TUE AUG 7 2012

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON JUST-UPGRADED
HURRICANE ERNESTO...LOCATED ABOUT 65 MILES EAST OF CHETUMAL
MEXICO.

A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE
LOCATED ABOUT 600 MILES WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
HAS CONTINUED TO BECOME BETTER DEFINED. ALTHOUGH SHOWER ACTIVITY IS
CURRENTLY DISORGANIZED...UPPER-LEVEL WINDS COULD BECOME MORE
CONDUCIVE FOR GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT
10 TO 15 MPH.

SHOWER ACTIVITY HAS WEAKENED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE REMNANT LOW
OF FLORENCE LOCATED ABOUT 750 MILES EAST OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD
ISLANDS. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE NOT CONDUCIVE FOR
REDEVELOPMENT...AND THIS SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0
PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE AGAIN DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT ABOUT 20 MPH.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART/CANGIALOSI






Will be watching to see what becomes of 92L as it continues to track over the Atlantic, and will also be checking the models to see if anything has a handle on its existence yet.



92L doesn't look so hot right now, will see about more convection later



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Quoting ncstorm:


not if it goes the same way Ernesto did..I cant watch that again..it was like watching paint dry..
Ernesto was really boring..sorry my opinion.Gotta go catch you later.
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the 18z gfs has 4 storms by the end of the run.... the next 2 weeks should be busy. there is no way we end up with without one storm making an impact if they materialize. not everyone can be a fish.
side note the gom seems to have a force field that keeps storms out. good news for me
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.
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18z Ensembles Spread




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Quoting ncstorm:





hmmm other mx storm
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Quoting ncstorm:


not if it goes the same way Ernesto did..I cant watch that again..it was like watching paint dry..
same here.
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Flare-up of convection with Florence.

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Quoting washingtonian115:
ncstorm I don't think this will develop much...


not if it goes the same way Ernesto did..I cant watch that again..it was like watching paint dry..
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Quoting ncstorm:


ncstorm I don't think this will develop much...
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HURRICANE ERNESTO FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 07/2100Z 18.8N 86.2W 70 KT 80 MPH
12H 08/0600Z 19.4N 88.0W 70 KT 80 MPH...INLAND
24H 08/1800Z 19.7N 90.4W 45 KT 50 MPH...INLAND
36H 09/0600Z 19.8N 92.6W 55 KT 65 MPH...OVER WATER
48H 09/1800Z 19.8N 94.4W 65 KT 75 MPH...OVER WATER
72H 10/1800Z 19.5N 97.5W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
96H 11/1800Z...DISSIPATED

(bears repeating)

Felipe Carillo Puerto watch out
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Coming on now two!!
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Chat

You are aware that over 10 people were on chat just a few minutes ago...
-----

Okay now I'm out. Peace.
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Most frustrating about the storms? You never really know what the true peak winds were... This can be a Category 2.
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Quoting Slamguitar:


I believe he was trying to show an older track to compare to the current track and intensity.



oh
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Chat
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Be back later.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



that is vary old


I believe he was trying to show an older track to compare to the current track and intensity.
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8PM are coming out!!
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:



that is vary old
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I think the convection just wants to wobble a little south because of the land to the north coming in first, once it's on land convection could end up anywhere.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

There is no 94L, you mean 92L?
Yeah I mean 92l THANKS.:)
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last image before darkness takes over.

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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


I posted the 5am from Sunday, but ya, they're pretty close.
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545. SLU
700

WHXX01 KWBC 080014

CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

0014 UTC WED AUG 8 2012



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



DISTURBANCE INVEST (AL922012) 20120808 0000 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

120808 0000 120808 1200 120809 0000 120809 1200



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 11.9N 32.9W 12.4N 35.5W 12.7N 38.5W 12.7N 41.6W

BAMD 11.9N 32.9W 12.5N 35.6W 12.9N 38.1W 12.9N 40.5W

BAMM 11.9N 32.9W 12.7N 35.4W 13.2N 38.0W 13.3N 40.5W

LBAR 11.9N 32.9W 12.3N 36.3W 12.9N 39.6W 13.1N 42.9W

SHIP 25KTS 29KTS 35KTS 42KTS

DSHP 25KTS 29KTS 35KTS 42KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

120810 0000 120811 0000 120812 0000 120813 0000



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 12.3N 45.0W 12.2N 52.6W 13.2N 61.1W 14.8N 70.2W

BAMD 12.5N 42.8W 12.0N 47.2W 12.5N 50.6W 14.1N 54.1W

BAMM 13.0N 43.0W 12.3N 48.0W 12.4N 52.0W 13.3N 55.9W

LBAR 13.2N 46.0W 13.1N 51.8W 13.6N 55.7W 15.5N 57.9W

SHIP 50KTS 63KTS 69KTS 71KTS

DSHP 50KTS 63KTS 69KTS 71KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 11.9N LONCUR = 32.9W DIRCUR = 270DEG SPDCUR = 17KT

LATM12 = 11.8N LONM12 = 29.6W DIRM12 = 270DEG SPDM12 = 17KT

LATM24 = 11.7N LONM24 = 26.6W

WNDCUR = 25KT RMAXWD = 60NM WNDM12 = 25KT

CENPRS = 1009MB OUTPRS = 1011MB OUTRAD = 150NM SDEPTH = S

RD34NE = 0NM RD34SE = 0NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM



$$

NNNN



------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
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Meh, better than nothing. Maybe the other frequencies will be easer to see once they update.

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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