Tropical Storm Ernesto – A First Look
Today, the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, upgraded Tropical Depression Ernesto into a tropical storm.
Right now the tropical storm is still well south of the U.S. and located around 13.4 degrees north latitude. The National Hurricane Center has Tropical Storm Ernesto tracking to the west at around 22 mph, bearing down on the Lesser Antilles islands in the Caribbean. Although Tropical Storm Ernesto only has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, the tropical storm is forecast to slightly strengthen over the next 24-48 hours.
The latest public advisory by the National Hurricane Center places Tropical Storm Ernesto about 80 miles east of Barbados, and 185 miles east of the island of St. Lucia.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING is currently in effect for the following locations:
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- St. Lucia
- Martinique and Guadeloupe
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH is currently in effect for the following locations:
- Grenada and its dependencies
Right now, the computer models are in consensus for Tropical Storm Ernesto’s predicted path. Some dispute occurs when the storm enters the eastern Caribbean Sea, and yet more disagreement occurs when the storm approaches Jamaica.
When you look at the historical data of tropical storms forming in this general area, there’s a fairly low chance of the storm making U.S. landfall. When the storms generally stay to the south they have a good chance at striking Mexico. The storms that skirt the southern parts of Hispaniola and Cuba tend to swing to the north and stay in the Atlantic Ocean where they harmlessly dissipate in the cooler water.
As far as tropical storm Ernesto, it’s too early to tell if this storm is going to have an impact on the U.S. We’ll have to keep an eye on the storm and see which path it decides to take in the Caribbean Sea. IF the storm makes it to the very warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, then the southeastern U.S. could be dealing with the threat of a major hurricane.