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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1244. WoodyFL
i think 92 has bigger storms on its northern parts now

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TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 AM EDT WED AUG 8 2012

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

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
ERNESTO...LOCATED ABOUT 20 MILES NORTH OF CHETUMAL MEXICO.

A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE
LOCATED ABOUT 700 MILES WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS
HAS CHANGED LITTLE IN ORGANIZATION. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE
MARGINALLY 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 INCREASED IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE REMNANT LOW
OF FLORENCE LOCATED ABOUT 580 MILES EAST OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD
ISLANDS. HOWEVER...UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE NOT EXPECTED TO BE
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.
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Quoting stormchaser19:


I can't imagine this hurricane in the North of GOM


If this thing had of shot the gap into the GOM... Man, it would probably have made Cat 5 before hitting the US... Good thing he didn't get stronger faster, otherwise that could have happened.
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1241. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
CTVNews.ca Staff
An emerging strain of influenza that's killed seals off the New England coast may pose a future threat to humans and other wildlife, warns a new report.


An emerging strain of influenza that's killed seals off the New England coast may pose a future threat to humans and other wildlife, warns a new report.

The report, published on July 31 in the journal mBio, said the H3N8 virus caused a fatal outbreak of pneumonia in 162 New England harbour seals from September to December 2011.

The researchers believe the virus may have evolved from a strain that is currently found in birds.

What's particularly concerning is that the virus naturally acquired mutations that are known to boost its transmission and intensity in mammals. And it's this "jumping" from mammal to mammal that's causing scientists to worry it could one day infect humans, according to the report.

"There is a concern that we have a new mammalian-transmissible virus to which humans haven't been exposed yet. It's a combination we haven't seen in disease before," the report's editor Dr. Anne Moscona, professor of pediatrics and of microbiology and immunology at New York's Weill Cornell Medical College, said in a news release.

Researchers believe the H3N8 virus may be the first recorded account of a new group of flu viruses that have the potential to persist and move between species.

Dr. Earl Brown, director of the Emerging Pathogens Research Centre in Ottawa, told CTV News Channel Tuesday that scientists are "always nervous" when they see a virus switching from mammal to mammal.

"The virus is always in water fowl, so when you see it move into another mammal, it makes you ask: 'Well, what's going on here? And can this thing change enough to get into people?'" he said.

Brown said the virus may have passed onto the seals through bird droppings that land on the seals' eyes and noses.

The fear is that once the virus has acclimatized to the seal, it could then pass to another mammal, he said.

However, if the H3N8 strain starts to infect people, there is an H3 vaccine that could help prevent the spread of the flu, said Brown.

"It wouldn't be that we'd be totally flatfooted; we may have some past antibodies that would help us in our past vaccines," he said. "We may be able to get up to vaccine status pretty quick if it came."

The authors of the study say it is crucial to continue to monitor the virus to better predict how new strains of influenza may emerge in the future, as well as to prevent future pandemics.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
If this year's hurricane season fails to give me a good chase, I demand to be recompensed through a harsh, brutal winter. Let it snow let it snow let it snow!


Lol. Stop that! Or move Louisiana farther away from me. :P
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Quoting Ameister12:
Well, off to bed. Night all.

Night Ameister12

Quoting WxGeekVA:
This is definitely no 85 MPH cane... Beautiful pinhole right now, I'm guessing this was approaching Cat 3 intensity at landfall...


Definitely a cat 2 hurricane, maybe a post season upgrade.

Quoting KoritheMan:
If this year's hurricane season fails to give me a good chase, I demand to be recompensed through a harsh, brutal winter. Let it snow let it snow let it snow!
Didn't know you chase hurricanes, hopefully you get the one. If not I'm open for a brutal winter, I need to make up from last year emotionally and money wise.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Still...
I bet Ernesto was really a 90-100mph hurricane.


Agreed.
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Quoting stormchaser19:


I can't imagine this hurricane in the North of GOM


Oh my goodness I would have already been packing up and driving north before the opened the contraflow.
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Quoting HurrikanEB:


I think that the NHC thinks that he may have been slightly stronger. In their landfall update, they only say that he was a "category 1 hurricane," they don't mention windspeed, which something that they normally do mention. IMO, they've been very deliberate the past few days about waiting until they had plane confirmation about Earnesto's intensity before adjusting the winds.. wouldn't be surprised to see the Yucatan intensity bumped up a tad in the post season.


Will be difficult for them to adjust the intensity since satellite estimates showed the hurricane weaker than the NHC had it. The satellite estimates basically halt their intensity adjustments until the hurricane clears out an eye.

What the NHC could do is survey the damage in the Yucatan and determine what the wind speeds represented, similar to how NWS rates tornadoes.
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Quoting stormchaser19:


from what i see the next week will be difficult :(


It's most definitely going to be a busy couple of weeks. With that and the next wave that looks to be promising coming off africa soon...many of us are going to be very busy. I can't express this enough, but if you haven't already you need to go through your hurricane checklist and supply kit just in case.
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Quoting WoodyFL:


How come they not yelling at you for posting the same thing? lol


Ummmmm. I don't know. I'm sorry someone yelled at you. Next time just pretend they didn't lol.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
This is definitely no 85 MPH cane... Beautiful pinhole right now, I'm guessing this was approaching Cat 3 intensity at landfall...



I can't imagine this hurricane in the North of GOM
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1232. JLPR2
Quoting KoritheMan:


The eye and eyewall are tightening up due to interaction with land. Essentially, because of the properties land has, the air in the storm slows down while upstream air rushes in to fill the void. Sort of like a pressure gradient type thing I guess. This temporarily invigorates the inner core of a landfalling hurricane before it traverses too far inland. A similar situation occurred with Gustav in 2008.


Still...
I bet Ernesto was really a 90-100mph hurricane.
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1231. 7544
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Hmmm...A little model agreement. CMC has low approaching Bahamas same time frame as GFS anyway.





cmc also shows a fl. system on the 12th possible flo ?
Link
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Hmmm...A little model agreement. CMC has low approaching Bahamas same time frame as GFS anyway.





from what i see the next week will be difficult :(
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If this year's hurricane season fails to give me a good chase, I demand to be recompensed through a harsh, brutal winter. Let it snow let it snow let it snow!
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This is definitely no 85 MPH cane... Beautiful pinhole right now, I'm guessing this was approaching Cat 3 intensity at landfall...

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Well, off to bed. Night all.
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My tracking map, NOT OFFICIAL
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1224. WoodyFL
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Hmmm...A little model agreement. CMC has low approaching Bahamas same time frame as GFS anyway.





How come they not yelling at you for posting the same thing? lol
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Ernesto was not just an 85mph hurricane. Pinhole eye.



I think that the NHC thinks that he may have been slightly stronger. In their landfall update, they only say that he was a "category 1 hurricane," they don't mention windspeed, which something that they normally do mention. IMO, they've been very deliberate the past few days about waiting until they had plane confirmation about Ernesto's intensity before adjusting the winds.. wouldn't be surprised to see the Yucatan intensity bumped up a tad in the post season.
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1222. WoodyFL
Quoting MississippiWx:
Ernesto was not just an 85mph hurricane. Pinhole eye.



thats strange
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Quoting Ameister12:

Yeah. I'm ready to see the Buckeyes, kick the Wolverines butt. Heh, heh, heh... ;)

Nooo:( it will be the opposite. Sorry busy with m blog as well as here so I will be slow. Ernesto's eye is clearing out over land, go figure.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:
Hmmm...A little model agreement. CMC has low approaching Bahamas same time frame as GFS anyway.





on these though, athome, is a difference in the strength of the ridge, which I assume will be instrumental in guidance. HOWEVER, if we do end up with a 958mb storm...who knows what kinda factor a ridge or trough would play.
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240 hours
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


The eye and eyewall are tightening up due to interaction with land. Essentially, because of the properties land has, the air in the storm slows down while upstream air rushes in to fill the void. Sort of like a pressure gradient type thing I guess. This temporarily invigorates the inner core of a landfalling hurricane before it traverses too far inland. A similar situation occurred with Gustav in 2008.


I would expect that since both debbie and ernie were quite the mind bogglers, that's the type of season we'll have. Get out your just for men guys...by september we'll need it.
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Hmmm...A little model agreement. CMC has low approaching Bahamas same time frame as GFS anyway.



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As Pat says

Welcome to the 2012 Mayan Atlantic and GOM Swirlpalooza...
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Ernesto was not just an 85mph hurricane. Pinhole eye.


Where did that come from and PINHOLE!
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Quoting caneswatch:


Hi Kori, how've you been? I miss coming on here, looks like there will be more time now :)


I've actually been really busy. Work + blogging multiple simultaneous systems = tired me. :(
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1213. WoodyFL
Quoting KoritheMan:


lol no. Try Baton Rouge.


i think i quoted the wrong person i think that was canewatch about Andrew
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Quoting RussianWinter:


Whuts happenin?


The eye and eyewall are tightening up due to interaction with land. Essentially, because of the properties land has, the air in the storm slows down while upstream air rushes in to fill the void. Sort of like a pressure gradient type thing I guess. This temporarily invigorates the inner core of a landfalling hurricane before it traverses too far inland. A similar situation occurred with Gustav in 2008.
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After hurricane season 2012 is done, my brain is going to be fried.
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the eye finally decides to clear out over land.lol
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1209. 7544
whatever u do ernie dont stall lol
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1208. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting GTcooliebai:
And the eye decides to clear out overland, what a weird storm from the beginning to now.
wacky 2012 and its to get even wackier
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Hi Connor.


Hi Kori, how've you been? I miss coming on here, looks like there will be more time now :)
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Ernesto was not just an 85mph hurricane. Pinhole eye.

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Quoting WoodyFL:


you in Miami


lol no. Try Baton Rouge.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Eye looks even better defined. Gotta love frictional convergence, eh?


Whuts happenin?
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1203. WoodyFL
Quoting KoritheMan:


Yeah. Good comparison, albeit atypical for an El Nino/warm neutral year.


you in Miami
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
T.C.O.L.
WEAKENING FLAG ON
05L/XH/E/XX
ernesto looks better on land than when it was over the water. lol. confusing storm. did the oppistit of everything. when it was supposed to weaked it strengthened when it was supposed to strengthen it weaked
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Quoting Ameister12:
:-D
Just like Fay, although stronger.
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Quoting Ameister12:
:-D


Eye looks even better defined. Gotta love frictional convergence, eh?
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1199. WoodyFL
wow i post 2 pictures in a year and get yelled at. No wonder we all lurk so much. this is a tough crowd lol
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1198. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
I will be here till 2am then iam gone
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:-D
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Quoting caneswatch:
Listen to Kori folks, even though it does show up near the 20th anniversary of Andrew, it doesn't mean a thing.


Hi Connor.
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1195. WoodyFL
Quoting RussianWinter:


So, uhh, Florida, South East Coast, New England, Fish, or Bermuda?


I know it's been showing a storm for the longest time now but this thing been hoppin all over the place like a kangaroo or somethin.


Im not sure but it could have been showing florence earlier and that is why we are confused. this is anogther system. i noticed when they dropped florence this started being consistent.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Kinda reminding me of 2007



Yeah. Good comparison, albeit atypical for an El Nino/warm neutral year.
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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