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.

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000
ABPZ20 KNHC 081148
TWOEP

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT WED AUG 8 2012

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON
TROPICAL STORM GILMA...LOCATED ABOUT 645 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA.

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE
LOCATED ABOUT 450 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF ACAPULCO MEXICO HAVE
CHANGED LITTLE IN ORGANIZATION DURING THE PAST SEVERAL HOURS.
HOWEVER...DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE AND IT COULD
BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...40 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE AS IT MOVES LITTLE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.
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1442. LargoFl
....................................meanwhile back at the farm..back to normal at last
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Quoting hydrus:
the strongest tropical wave of the season so far will it be Gordon or Helene.
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92L



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Quoting biff4ugo:
What is that? Hurricane Sally is hurdeling across the Atlantic with 100m ph win ds for the USA???
Is sandy this year.
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1438. hydrus
AWIPS images of the 1-km resolution POES AVHRR Cloud Top Temperature (CTT) product indicated that CTT values were as cold as -87º C at 02:12 UTC and -86º C at 03:27 UTC Cloud tops were over 16 kilometers high with overshooting tops.
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1437. WxLogic
Quoting weatherb0y:
Good morning WxLogic.


Morning... :)
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1436. LargoFl
Quoting Maineweatherguy20023:

Will be Gordon the instant it hits water.
..lETS NOT FORGET..92l WAS LOOKING GREAT..NOW LOOK AT IT
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What is that? Hurricane Sally is hurdeling across the Atlantic with 100m ph win ds for the USA???
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1434. hydrus
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1433. hydrus
It is only my opinion, but I think Ernesto was a minimal cat-2 at landfall..If not delicious crow.
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Quoting WxLogic:
Good Morning
Good morning WxLogic.
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Good morning, everyone. Looks like a normal hot day here in Louisiana. Hope everyone has a great Wednesday!
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Quoting bigwes6844:
that african wave is viscious!!

Nearly a TS already. 100s of miles from the warm waters of the east atlantic. WACH OUT!!! CV season has startes and with the steering pattern the US should be on guard. And prepared for a major hurricane to hit.
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Quoting lightning75:


Possibly....



not.this.yr.so.far
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Quoting mcluvincane:


Yeah, lets hope that gfs run doesn't pan out. Something like that would be horrific for the north east states
And just a year after Irene.
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Quoting lightning75:
I feel an outbreak of wave hysteria is about to start


Will be Gordon the instant it hits water.
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Quoting lightning75:


Well the 18z last frame has it has it somewhere below greenland :p and dont dare look at what is coming next ....



Lets hope we get a storm that is fun to track but does not cause too much if any carnage. A TS in the gulf of Maine maybe that would be nice.
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1421. WxLogic
Good Morning
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Good morning to all.

TAFB at 06Z surface analysis has a 1007mb low with big African wave.

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Quoting AussieStorm:
I am not feeling to well. I am going to go to bed early and Hope to raise early feeling much better.
Goodnight all Stay well, Stay safe
Hope you feel good when you wake up :)
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Ernesto is getting close to BOC now.




Looks like its moving west southwest.
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I am not feeling to well. I am going to go to bed early and Hope to raise early feeling much better.
Goodnight all Stay well, Stay safe
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Quoting islander101010:
thats.bad.
Yeah...
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Good morning. 6z GFS:



The important thing right now is not to focus on landfall locations; 18z last night had a storm recurve out to sea, 0z brought it to the Southeast, and now 6z is bringing it to the Northeast. The important thing is to realize that there is a pretty decent chance we will be tracking a good size storm across the Atlantic for the next 2 weeks. The ECMWF is on board now as well.
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Ernesto is getting close to BOC now.




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Quoting allancalderini:
92L will probably be down to 20% looks terrible.
thats.bad???.
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Quoting lightning75:


Na Its Gordon the big wave getting ready to fall off the African coast ,unless something spawns before then....Real hysteria is soon to commence , with everyone screaming DOOM....If the GFS model pans out or even before then....

GFS had performed probably well beyond even its owners' expectations. Wouldn't mind Dr. Jeff doing a blog entry on the changes to GFS.
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The 9amGMT NHC.Advisory has since downgraded Ernesto from Hurricane to a TropicalStorm, but...

Derived from (NHC) ATCF data for HurricaneErnesto for 8August06amGMT:
MinimumPressure increased from 980millibars to 983millibars
MaxSusWinds decreased from 75knots(86mph)139km/h to 70knots(81mph)130km/h
Its vector changed from 277.7*West@17.6mph(28.4km/h) to 275.2*NWest@13.2mph(21.2km/h)

CME-Ciudad del Carmen :: CPE-Campeche :: CTM-Chetumal :: SJX-Sarteneja :: MHIC-SwanIsland

The (eastern) kinked line marks Ernesto's path on its 5th day as a TropicalStorm
The westernmost dot on the kinked line is where TS.Ernesto became HurricaneErnesto
The westernmost dot on the longest line line is its most recent position

The longest 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
8August3:15amGMT: H.Ernesto made landfall near Mahahual,CostaMaya
8August6amGMT: H.Ernesto was heading for a return to the sea near Sabancuy in ~10hours from now (when this comment was posted)

Copy&paste snj, mhic, sjx, ctm, cpe, cme, vsa, 16.2n81.2w- 16.7n82.2w- 17.3n83.3w- 17.8n84.4w- 18.5n85.5w, 18.5n85.5w-18.7n87.1w, 18.7n87.1w-18.8n88.3w, 18.7n87.1w-19.009n91.158w into the GreatCircleMapper for a larger-scale map and other information
The previous mapping for comparison.
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92L will probably be down to 20% looks terrible.
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Quoting bigwes6844:
so that monster going up the east seaboard would be ex flo? and the first storm would be gordon? then helene? and then issac?
|
No,the monster is gordon, which should be over cape verde in about 3 days
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Quoting lightning75:


Well it is the GFS ....oh yeah thats right they nailed practically everything this year ...even Debby
so that monster going up the east seaboard would be ex flo? and the first storm would be gordon? then helene? and then issac?
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Quoting lightning75:


Well the 18z last frame has it has it somewhere below greenland :p and dont dare look at what is coming next ....

say what! look at those highs!! OMG this may get into the GOM if that pattern stays the same!
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Quoting lightning75:


Well the 18z last frame has it has it somewhere below greenland :p and dont dare look at what is coming next ....


OMGOSH,,, no way!!!!
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Quoting lightning75:


Well the 18z last frame has it has it somewhere below greenland :p and dont dare look at what is coming next ....




Yeeeesh...it's gonna be a long month. lol
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Ernesto is about half way through it's traverse of the Yucatan Peninsular.


Australian Sally Pearson clocked an Olympic record of 12.35 to edge out the USA's defending champion Dawn Harper into silver by just 0.02 seconds. Another USA athlete, Kellie Wells, took the bronze in 12.48.

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Quoting lightning75:



I believe it is also the bad boy the GFS has been putting forward to sweep the entire east coast



which one is dat by florida? and where its going?
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Quoting lightning75:


LOL

what number was that comment, I don't see it. I wonder why.

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Quoting lightning75:



I believe it is also the bad boy the GFS has been put forward to sweep the entire east coast




look at the bad boy behind it. wow
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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