Ernesto slowly strengthing, headed towards the Keys

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:03 PM GMT on August 29, 2006

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A quick update on Ernesto--the latest Hurricane Hunter mission at 6:30am EDT found only 45 mph winds at the surface, and a 1005 mb pressure. The Hurricane Hunters earned their money today, as they reported moderate turbulence during many of their legs. This often happens in intensifying storms right next to land, as the air flowing over the land to water is very turbulent. Ernesto is slowly strengthening, but probably only has enough time to make it to a 60 mph tropical storm before landfall on the mainland Florida Peninsula in Everglades National Park. Satellite imagery shows a slowly expanding area of intense thunderstorms near the center, and some decent upper-level outflow on the east side. There is dry air on the storm's west side, and this is being pumped into Ernesto by a small upper-level low to is west. This influence should wane today as the upper low weakens and moves off.

You can see some ill-defined spiral bands on the Key West radar, but the storm's low-level organization is poor.

The latest forecast models are all in excellent agreement, calling for a landfall in the Everglades tonight, a long passage up the spine of Florida, followed by a re-emergence into the Atlantic and possible re-intensification to a Category 1 hurricane before a second landfall in the Carolinas.


Figure 1. Tropical Storm Ernesto at 1:45 pm EDT Monday August 28, as presented by the NOAA Visualization Program.

Next update
I'll have an update by 12 pm EDT, and will discuss what might come after Ernesto. There is a new tropical wave in the mid-Atlantic that has some potential for development.

Jeff Masters

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142. hurricane79
1:16 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Here is my forecast track...FLAWEATHER.COM Link
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141. FierceWinds
1:13 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Posted By: TampaMark at 1:12 PM GMT on August 29, 2006.
Still waiting for that turn north the experts keep saying will happen. But it aint happening. But I am really disagreeing with that forecast path now. Even though the models don't show it, you can already see the west coast of florida is gonna be where landfall will be .. not the everglades. I would not be surprised to see this one stay south longer, thus over water longer, get to 80 mph and hit all the way up in naples.

At the 11am update, the track will do a clear shift west and the experts will all say they were wrong about south florida and miami as targets and then start saying how difficult it is to predict. Yeah right guys.


I think we're starting to see a NW turn at the moment.
140. h20doc
09:14 AM EDT op 29 Augustus, 2006
Did you all see in the 5 a.m. NHC discussion where they thanked the gov't of Cuba for allowing the recon plan to fly right up to the coast to collect data? It would be nice if they could get a buoy right off the coast too. There is sort of a black hole as far as surface data goes right around Cuba. Cigar anyone?
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139. Pipsneyy
1:16 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
im not trying to start anything, but just dont lead people into false conclusions. we have some young people in here that might go insane.
137. IKE
8:16 AM CDT on August 29, 2006
WSI...did you read the 8 am advisory..."The minimum central pressure reported by the reconnaissance plane
was 1007 mb...29.74 inches."

That's UP 2 mb's from the 5 am advisory.
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135. heatmieser
1:10 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
thank you pensacola! =)
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134. dewfree
1:03 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
i have said this for three days now the storm will go into gulf and then turn north then northeast and make landfall somehwere between aligator point and tampa give or take 100 miles lol time and time again yet the gov model watchers insist other wise but you can see with your own eyes that the storm like most storms don;t behave the way a mathematical formula expect them too .other then math you have to look at the big pic and see that this and that can effect and being close to the storm as time is with now it is evident that the frount isnt effecting yet and there is reason why .these frounts have done this all summer .most have stalled over alabama goergia .there has been upper level influence to the contrary yet some dont see it and want see that it is .the models dont do very good job of seeing it .so anyway i believe the storm has gone far enough west now that when it does make its turn north west it will skirt the keys and the coast up the west side and make land fall crossing florida then up the eaast coast to the outer banks maybe even skirting the coast all the way to cross a bit of georgia real before hitting the atlantic and going up to the outer banks and maybe not to sea but al the way up the coast to boston lol but this i know look at the storms at the top of the state and where they are heading lol .
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132. Pipsneyy
1:12 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Posted By: TampaMark at 1:04 PM GMT on August 29, 2006.
Still waiting for that turn north the experts keep saying will happen. But it aint happening. But I am really disagreeing with that forecast path now. Even though the models don't show it, you can already see the west coast of florida is gonna be where landfall will be .. not the everglades. I would not be surprised to see this one stay south longer, thus over water longer, get to 80 mph and hit all the way up in naples.

At the 11am update, the track will do a clear shift west and the experts will all say they were wrong about south florida and miami as targets and then start saying how difficult it is to predict. Yeah right guys.



hmm i think your from tampa. yeah i knew it. you just cant wait to get a storm to hit you can you? all of you have been saying this track was going to shift last night at 5 p.m. it hasnt. so deal with it. remember when the models shifted last night and all of you went crazy saying texas is now in play. wow. such wishcasting. the track has stayed within 50 miles since about 5 a.m. yesterday.
131. WeatherByrd
1:05 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Help me out here but I don't see exactly what is going to change the direction of ernesto to the north straight up the spine of florida. It seems that it would not change north until it has gotten by the tip of Florida making it a west side of Florida landing like Tampa or south. Can somebody help me out here?
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130. WSI
1:13 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
"Met 101 teaches you that!"

I assume then that you are taking issue with Dr. Masters statement that its slowly getting stronger too? LOL!

Geez people, lay off each other.
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129. rwdobson
1:13 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
the fl peninsula is pretty narrow down at the southern end, so it doesn't take a very big change in track to shift it from E coast landfall to w coast landfall.
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128. Proplayer
1:08 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
tilltummiburp that is not my point it is gov. funded that means tax payer I would exspect more we have 30 years of data they could gose and anyone at this point can see it is not going to go on there track abd they will ajust it to make them look good you can not track hurricanes just my .02
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127. TampaMark
1:04 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Still waiting for that turn north the experts keep saying will happen. But it aint happening. But I am really disagreeing with that forecast path now. Even though the models don't show it, you can already see the west coast of florida is gonna be where landfall will be .. not the everglades. I would not be surprised to see this one stay south longer, thus over water longer, get to 80 mph and hit all the way up in naples.

At the 11am update, the track will do a clear shift west and the experts will all say they were wrong about south florida and miami as targets and then start saying how difficult it is to predict. Yeah right guys.
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126. IKE
8:10 AM CDT on August 29, 2006
Posted By: pensacolastorm at 8:06 AM CDT on August 29, 2006.
To all that are predicting (not forcasting)a sfla west coast landfall based on the current wnw movement...ernie is still well EAST of miami.


Wrong...it's almost due south of Miami.
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125. rwdobson
1:10 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
"and the low in the gulf seems 24hrs away before ernie gets effected (turned north)"

which is pretty much what the nhc is saying. same general motion for 24 hours.
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124. pensacolastorm
1:09 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
swflrob, it looks like the center is barely off the coast...nice link btw. Thanks.
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123. Pipsneyy
1:08 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
stop disagreeing with the NHC. they have been right before ernesto even traveled across cuba. its not coming to your house, so deal with it. maybe you'll get an afternoon thunderstorm. the NHC says its going to south florida, so thats where its going.
122. Thaale
1:01 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
NHC 8AM Advisory:
Ernesto is moving toward the northwest near 14 mph...22 km/hr...and
this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours.

Using my handy mental protactor and mapping software, this has Ernesto in GOM WSW of Naples in 24 hours. Nothing at all about bending North-- a physical necessity if he's going into the Mainland soon.


Bubba, I think a partial answer is their phrase “this general motion.” They’re not guaranteeing an exact heading of 315°! So it could be somewhere in between NNW and NW and still be called generally NW.

I agree with you that their latest forecast map (which predicts an immediate turn to the NNW and then a steady motion in that direction) doesn’t exactly match with that narrative. If we do see another leftward shift to the forecast track at the 11 AM update, the forecast will match the 8 AM advisory a little better.
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121. drusierDMD
1:09 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Cuba radar

low level coc is off the coast now...still looks wnw to me...and the low in the gulf seems 24hrs away before ernie gets effected (turned north)
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120. hurricane79
12:57 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Ernesto is moving WNW at a good clip, and will do so for at least another 12 to 18 hours. Thre will be a Florida West Coast landfall from this storm. And, it will not be as weak as the NHC suggests due to longer time over aters, probably a Cat 1
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119. nick69
1:07 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
hi there,
we are in the St. Augustine area, do we need to be concerned with anything but rain, I don't think it will be much more than that, by the time it gets here,right?
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118. FierceWinds
1:04 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Sure, no problem. I'm pretty sure the Keys will get some heavy rain from Ernesto. I seriously doubt it'll develop into a hurricane before impacting southern Florida.
116. ricderr
1:05 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
thanx swfldrob.....!!!!!!!
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 681 Comments: 22786
115. pensacolastorm
1:02 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
To all that are predicting (not forcasting)a sfla west coast landfall based on the current wnw movement...ernie is still well EAST of miami.
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114. groundswell
12:51 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Looks like junky chop surf on tap for the east coast-but, if the storm can go a little further west, maybe the gulf might get a swell with offshore winds cleaning it up.
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113. illumine
1:04 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Posted By: fldude99 at 1:04 PM GMT on August 29, 2006.
ok..for me i am "officially" over ernesto..it will go where the NHC says it will..i agree with Dr M that it will be a 60mph tropical storm..much ado about nothing for FL at least..thank goodness..hope the rest of the season is a total bore..later


Actially two thing this season is like
2001 wich was a active year and Ernesto will
go were it wants to go.
112. SWFLdrob
12:58 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
just because the blob is moving more westerly, it doesn't necessarily mean the center is.

Looking at the Key West radar, you can clearly see the blob of convection streaming east to west. But, at the SE corner of that blob appears to be the COC (an educated guess based on where the NHC located the COC at 8 am and it just looks like the edge of the COC). In watching that over the past few frames, there appears to be a more northward component to its motion compared to the overall blob of thunderstorms, which makes sense, since storms to the north of a COC should be moving east to west.

Link

This link might show what I'm talking about even better.

Link
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111. EricNielsen
01:01 PM GMT am 29. August 2006
I dunno how much the models taken in account of the SST. Also teh Eddies need to be taken in account with movement. And im sure lot of other things. But by watching just the radar loops its clearly more wnw to me.

Also rightnow is a crucial point for further development or not.

Cheers
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110. IKE
8:03 AM CDT on August 29, 2006
Posted By: FierceWinds at 7:50 AM CDT on August 29, 2006.
I'm sorry but IKE is correct in that when you get a rise in pressure you get a weakening storm. A storm does not strengthen when the pressure rises.


EXACTLY!

Met 101 teaches you that!
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109. thelmores
12:55 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
"yikes! ants started coming into my house last night!! "

guess i need to go outside and see what my ants are up to! LOL
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
108. fldude99
1:01 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
ok..for me i am "officially" over ernesto..it will go where the NHC says it will..i agree with Dr M that it will be a 60mph tropical storm..much ado about nothing for FL at least..thank goodness..hope the rest of the season is a total bore..later
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107. vortextrance
1:01 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Posted By: CaneCountry at 12:59 PM GMT on August 29, 2006.
I wonder IF this thing can intensify before hitting Florida... People are saying that it can be a CAT1 before making landfall in SoFla... I just don't see that happening..


It is intensifying now. As the day goes on conditions should be even better so a cat 1 is possible.
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106. illumine
1:02 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Hurricane Season is about to shift into HIGH GEAR!
105. Eastcoast
12:58 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Long Island Be ready!

The duration of winds of storm to hurricane force on the coast in gusts at least will be much shorter but gale to storm force gusts can occur Friday night and Saturday all the way to Long Island.


More here

www.eastcoastwx.net
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104. kap333
8:58 AM EDT on August 29, 2006
I have to say that NaplesPatty comment about the center crossing Naples looks like a decent bet. I know all the info calls for the storm to go into the state via the upper keys and then up the FL spine but people have to open their eyes and see the true direction of the storm...which appears to be WNW. The trough is coming but it doesnt look like it will get here in time to recurve the storm as predicted. I think this storm goes up the west coast then cuts across....opinions?
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103. dewfree
12:52 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
what some of you really dont get is there is no such thing as a forecast from nhc or anyone else except maybe a blogger .if you can change your stance whitch i have seen sence yesterday then you havent made a forecast .but instead have made observation .so for all of you that insist on defending the NHC then look at its post as of 4 this morn and then look at the 8 am post and tell me if what they say is gold thank you ,And a note land fall is now west coast hummk where did that come from .lol also look at the 8 pm post and see lol . stick with them they no best .but dont be sarcastic towards those who made a forecast or guess just cause the storm is going their way lol they im sure have eyes and can see that the storm had enough at time wnw movement that now is west coast fl landfall and that in itself is enough to shut the condemnation up .
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102. rxse7en
8:40 AM EDT on August 29, 2006
Man, that's a scary scenario--Ernest tracks west, below Florida, then track northeast across Florida after strengthening in the GOM for a short period.
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101. WeatherBubba
9:01 AM EDT on August 29, 2006
FierceWinds--
Thanks for responding. I concur with your reasoning and the reasoning orf others. My point was that the NJC advisory had Ernesto going NW for 24 hours, i.e. 300 miles+/-, with no mention.indication of a Northerly bend. Trying to reconcile with projections, etc.

Thanks agin, though, for replying...
Bubba
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100. Baybuddy
1:00 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Finally. voices of reason. lol
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99. weathermanwannabe
12:57 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
Fierce....You may be right, but, from looking at the most recent loops, that "turn" needs to happen within the next 6 hours or so because Ernesto appears to be picking up speed and headed for the Keys right now......
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97. pensacolastorm
12:58 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
heat, its rotating, and there does not apprar to be a great deal of dry air to impact the system. I do not know about shear that far out...all IMHO.
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96. ricderr
12:58 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
MORNING 27......
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95. NaplesPatty
12:59 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
yeah when the storm if just about on top of us
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94. CaneCountry
12:57 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
I wonder IF this thing can intensify before hitting Florida... People are saying that it can be a CAT1 before making landfall in SoFla... I just don't see that happening..

?
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93. Proplayer
12:55 PM GMT on August 29, 2006
NaplesPatty no they are to smart for that they will wait until 8pm
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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