Friday, August 3, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto Remains Disorganized For Now but Bears Watching...

The above visible satellite image shows the disorganized center of Tropical Storm Ernesto located about 40 miles West/Southwest of St. Lucia.  A healthy wind gust of 63 mph recorded at St. Lucia during the past 2 hours.  

The system is currently moving toward the West at 24 mph, and the wide view satellite image below will hopefully give you a better idea as to the current location of the system (as circled in yellow): 

Part of the problem with Ernesto, as far as organization is concerned, is its fast movement at present.  This is causing parts of the system to become "sheared apart" as it races (at least for a tropical system) Westward.  This trend is forecast to decrease over the weekend, which will cause the system to slow down and possibly allow for better organization and/or intensification by Sunday and into Monday.

The current National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast calls for Ernesto to reach at least minimal hurricane strength by the pre-dawn hours of Monday, at which time it is forecast to be located near Jamaica:

Beyond that time, much uncertainty currently exists.  The composite of the computer forecast model tracks generally take the system toward the Yucatan Peninsula near the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico by early Wednesday morning:

Those with interests in the Yucatan region of Mexico as well as the Southern and Western Gulf of Mexico region will want to keep an eye on Ernesto early next week for any potential impacts later in the week.  Its ability to become better organized this weekend will be a key component in determining whether or not the system will pose any significant threats for next week.

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