The tropical Atlantic continues to heat-up, with Tropical Storm Ernesto (yellow circled area on the image above) moving toward the West, centered a few hundred miles South of Puerto Rico this morning, and newly named Tropical Storm Florence (red circled area on the same image) getting organized out in the far Eastern Atlantic.
For a little better perspective as to the locations of these systems, here is a wider satellite view with the same colored circles for each system as noted above:
Ernesto is moving in such a manner that the center of the system is likely to pass to the South of Jamaica on Sunday and Sunday night, during which time the system will likely strengthen into a hurricane. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Jamaica, where deteriorating conditions can be expected later tonight and into Sunday.
As you can see, the "official" National Hurricane Center (NHC) track calls for Ernesto to move across the Yucatan Peninsula as a hurricane on Wednesday, and then possibly emerge in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico during the pre-dawn hours on Thursday. The $64,000 question, of course, is what will the system do after that?
The latest composite of the longer range computer forecast model guidance calls for 3 possible solutions once the system enters the Gulf of Mexico. The first cluster takes it West/Northwestward into Mexico. The second cluster takes the system Northwest into Texas, and the third takes the system more toward the North, in the direction of the central Gulf Coast:
Any impacts on the U.S. Gulf Coast would not be until next weekend the wya it looks right now, so we obviously have plenty of time to monitor the situation over the coming days. I would encourage anyone with interests from Mexico to the western and central Gulf Coast to keep an eye on the progression of Ernesto over the coming days.
Tropical Storm Florence has just formed within the last couple of hours, and is located way out over the eastern Atlantic. The current NHC forecast calls for the system to continue to move in a general Westerly direction through Thursday, with some weakening forecast as the system encounters less favorable atmospheric conditions by early to mid week:
You can monitor the progression of both of these systems on the Tropical Weather Headquarters page of our sister site WeatherGuidance.com.
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