Ernesto to Make Landfall Tonight as a Hurricane

By: Levi32 , 2:12 PM GMT on August 07, 2012

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Ernesto is now deepening again after a delay yesterday when its small, fragile core collapsed and allowed some dry air into the circulation, forcing Ernesto to rebuild from scratch. The pattern is very conducive in the western Caribbean for intensification, but Ernesto got a little too excited too fast, and had to reset. The pressure is now falling again, down to 988mb, and Ernesto should easily attain hurricane-force winds before landfall near Chetumel, Mexico late tonight. Ernesto's core is still small, but his spiral bands expanded yesterday and have broadened the wind field of the storm as a whole, so a large area of rain and TS-force winds will be slamming Mexico and Belize as the center comes ashore. Ernesto will be weakened by the crossing of the Yucatan, but will likely restrengthen some on the other side in the Bay of Campeche, possibly back to hurricane strength if it moves far enough north to get more time over water. However, the 2nd landfall will occur relatively quickly, not allowing much time for intensification. This will be a classic double hit for Mexico, with flooding rains probably being a bigger problem for them than the winds.

In the rest of the Atlantic, we have ex-Florence and Invest 92L in the central Atlantic. The models are not excited about either system, and develop nothing in the Atlantic during the next 10 days. The GFS and CMC hint that the Gulf of Mexico will remain somewhat active after Ernesto leaves, with upper ridging and some low-level disturbances possibly making some noise during the next 8 days, but right now no immediate or significant threats are apparent.

The MJO is forecasted to move deeply into phases 1 and 2 over the next two weeks, supporting an active Atlantic overall, and the GFS has been bullish on many Cape Verde waves that it has moving off of Africa during that time. As promised pre-season, the African wave train is strong this year, but will have trouble generating storms in the deep tropics, and these waves are more likely to develop after they get north of 20N and farther west. We will have to watch for some of these to sneak up on us closer to our back yard. Overall, there are no immediate development threats after Ernesto leaves.

We shall see what happens!

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5. ilovehurricanes13
6:56 PM GMT on August 08, 2012
tropical update!!!! Aug 8, 2012 1:34 pm ET

- Hurricane Ernesto made landfall -- defined as where the center of circulation crosses the coast -- in Mexico just north of the border with Belize, becoming the first landfalling hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic season. It has since weakened to a tropical storm.

- The center of circulation is close to moving back over the water, this time the Bay of Campeche in the extreme southwest Gulf of Mexico, but it's at best going to barely do so, and will soon move back inland again. Thus its opportunity to restrengthen will be quite limited.

- Regardless of the intensity wind-wise, Ernesto will be accompanied by heavy rain and a threat of flooding the next couple days as it moves west or a bit south of due west.


- A strong tropical wave with a low-level circulation is over Africa and will move off the coast of Africa tomorrow, and stands out as one which has a good chance of developing into a tropical cyclone. Some model runs have shown it reaching the United States the week after next; that's within the realm of possibility but will depend on the steering flow at that time and is far beyond the time frame at which there can be confidence in details of a system's track.


- Ahead of that, in the eastern Atlantic, a disturbance organizing in the "monsoon trough" is being monitored for signs of further development as it heads west across the tropical Atlantic.

- Despite being amidst dry air, Florence's remnant has been sprouting a bit of convection, indicating some resiliency. However, it is running into very hostile atmospheric conditions -- strong upper-level winds -- which are not allowing it to become a tropical storm again.

- The upper-level trough associated with those shearing winds, however, resulted in heavy showers and thunderstorms in Puerto Rico early this morning, is now bringing them to Hispaniola, and might do so in Cuba and Jamaica as it drifts west.
Member Since: June 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 776
4. Storm4Ivana
9:11 PM GMT on August 07, 2012
Thanks Levi. In your opinion Levi, do the forecasted mean flow indicate a recurvature with these cv easterly waves over the next 10 to14 days ? Would the Gulf Coast States be less likely to be affected than say Bermuda or NC ? I am not a business planner. Just curious how the upper level flow might set up for a while. Thank you for your work. -Gonzales, Louisiana.
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 26
3. splash3392
2:33 PM GMT on August 07, 2012
Thanks Levi. I really appreciate your visual as well as vocal explanations.
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 645
2. weatherh98
2:21 PM GMT on August 07, 2012
Thanks levi
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6539
1. floridaboy14
2:21 PM GMT on August 07, 2012
thanks Levi. GFS ensembles show some scary runs of cape verde hurricane anywhere from Texas to Bermuda.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102

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

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