Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to move toward the West/Northwest at 13 mph this morning, and as of shortly before 7am CDT was centered 250 miles East of Belize City.
As you can see on the visible satellite image above, thunderstorm activity is becoming better organized around the center of the storm. Below is a wider view on the infrared satellite channel, to give you a better perspective as to the location of the system:
Ernesto is likely to become a hurricane later today, and the center is forecast to make landfall during the pre-dawn hours Wednesday very near Chetumal, Mexico, which is along the border of Mexico and Belize:
As we always like to point out with tropical systems, it's important not to focus solely on the location of the center, as the winds, rain and heavy surf will be felt far away from that point. At this time, tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center of Ernesto, and the wind field will change further prior to landfall, including the development of hurricane force winds as well.
At this time it appears that the center of Ernesto will re-emerge in the extreme southwest Gulf of Mexico during the early morning hours on Thursday. Assuming the system remains somewhat intact after crossing the Yucatan, it may redevelop again before making an expected second landfall along the coast to the East of Mexico City (possibly very near Veracruz) during the pre-dawn hours on Friday.
Unfortunately, it does not appear that any of the moisture associated with Ernesto will be able to work its way North into Texas or adjacent areas, as the middle and upper-level steering winds will keep the precipitation to the South in Mexico.
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