Ernesto to Remain Weak for Now, then Strengthen Later; Long-term Track Still Uncertai

By: Levi32 , 6:20 PM GMT on August 03, 2012

Share this Blog
13
+

Visit my new home at http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/



Ernesto has formed, and is now moving into the eastern Caribbean after passing the Antilles Islands last night. Overall organization of the system has not changed, with limited thunderstorm coverage over a tight but weak circulation. Dry air being entrained from the west is inhibiting Ernesto, and the storm is also now embedded in a fast 20mph+ trade wind flow that is unfavorable for the intensification of the circulation. This will likely limit Ernesto to weak-moderate tropical storm intensity until it makes it to the longitude of Jamaica, at which point the trade winds slow down, and upper-level ridging will likely make the environment quite conducive for intensification. Ernesto may even open up into an open wave without westerlies on the southern side for a time before then, but should remain robust and redevelop a closed circulation in the western Caribbean if it does.

The future track of Ernesto largely depends on his intensity in the western Caribbean, as the weakness in the ridge over the Gulf of Mexico will not be strong enough to pick up a weakling system, but would likely pick up a hurricane and bring it north of 25N. While Ernesto should start strengthening once to 75W, if he starts off very weak then he may not have the time to strengthen enough to move into the weakness and encroach upon the northwest Gulf of Mexico, but instead could get re-caught by the Texas ridge and move WNW across the Yucatan and then into the northern half of Mexico in the western gulf. This is the solution adopted by the ECMWF over the last couple days, and more recently the latest GFS and CMC runs. The other models still go to the north with a stronger system, along with the NHC. It is starting to seem a bit more likely that Ernesto hits the Yucatan and then moves into the Bay of Campeche, given that the environment doesn't seem to support strengthening until west of Jamaica. The NHC shows Ernesto strengthening into a hurricane near Jamaica, a solution I find less likely given the strong trade winds and dry air ahead of Ernesto right now.

Overall, Ernesto's intensity in the western Caribbean will largely determine whether he becomes a problem for the United States down the road. The favorable conditions in the western Caribbean mean that Ernesto will likely become a significant problem for central America even if the shorter, southerly route is taken with less time over water. These possibilities are still 5-8 days out so nothing can be guaranteed yet, and interests in the western Caribbean and along the gulf coast should monitor Ernesto over the coming days.

We shall see what happens!

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 8 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

8. AtHomeInTX
12:02 AM GMT on August 04, 2012
Thanks Levi. I don't want to wish anything bad on Mexico but I hope you're right. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 252
7. Hoff511
7:44 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
Thanks Levi!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 265
6. PedleyCA
7:10 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
Thank You for the Update....
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6000
5. watercayman
6:53 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
Thank you Levi, appreciate the clear and in-depth presentation. We're watching with a close eye here for sure in Cayman.
Member Since: September 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 91
4. hydrus
6:53 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
Thank you for the update. Ernesto should strengthen significantly over the Western Caribbean. Could be a major problem for folks in that part of the world.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21734
3. jeffs713
6:34 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
Quoting Levi32:


My problem with the GFDL and HWRF is the NW movement they show prior to Ernesto making it to the western Caribbean. Steering currents don't seem to su pport that.

I didn't notice that, but good point!
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5890
2. Levi32
6:30 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
Quoting jeffs713:
You mention the GFS, but it seems to be a bit of an outlier, as it is significantly weaker than most of the other models, and therefore further south.

That said, I find it interesting (personally) that the GFDL and HWRF both depict a stronger storm that does get caught up by the trough, and turned more NW.


My problem with the GFDL and HWRF is the NW movement they show prior to Ernesto making it to the western Caribbean. Steering currents don't seem to su pport that.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26682
1. jeffs713
6:25 PM GMT on August 03, 2012
You mention the GFS, but it seems to be a bit of an outlier, as it is significantly weaker than most of the other models, and therefore further south.

That said, I find it interesting (personally) that the GFDL and HWRF both depict a stronger storm that does get caught up by the trough, and turned more NW.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5890

Viewing: 8 - 1

Page: 1 — Blog Index

Top of Page

About Levi32

Levi Cowan has been tracking tropical systems since 2002, and is currently working on his bachelor's degree in physics at UAF.

Levi32's Recent Photos

Hurricane Mitch

Recommended Links

Personal Weather Stations

MesoWest NERRS METEOROLOGICAL SITE AT KAC AK US
Fritz Creek, AK
Elevation: 32 ft
Temperature: 39.0 °F
Dew Point: 31.0 °F
Humidity: 75%
Wind: 12.0 mph from the WSW
Wind Gust: 17.0 mph
Updated: 3:30 PM AKDT on October 20, 2014
Overlooking Peterson Bay
Homer, AK
Elevation: 27 ft
Temperature: 28.5 °F
Dew Point: 10.4 °F
Humidity: 46%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 5:08 AM AKDT on October 22, 2014
RAWS HOMER AK US
Homer, AK
Elevation: 854 ft
Temperature: 29.0 °F
Dew Point: 24.0 °F
Humidity: 81%
Wind: 3.0 mph from the NNW
Wind Gust: 5.0 mph
Updated: 3:54 AM AKDT on October 22, 2014

About Personal Weather Stations