Tropical Storm Ernesto – Update #2
Twenty-four hours later and it appears more and more likely that Tropical Storm Ernesto is taking the southern route through the western half of the Caribbean Sea. Right now the computer models are placing the tropical storm’s path on a direct path towards Belize and southern Mexico.
One of the interesting things about Tropical Storm Ernesto is that the storm has not really strengthened since it officially became a tropical storm a few days ago. In fact, despite being in warm and calm waters, the storm is actually less organized now than it was the other day.
Right now Tropical Storm Ernesto is about 205 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica, and about 355 miles east of the Nicaragua/Honduras border in Central America. The storm still has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph with gusts up to 65 mph, keeping it a solid tropical storm. Its movement is currently to the west at a quick pace of 23 mph.
The official prediction path by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, is calling for Tropical Storm Ernesto to skirt the northern coast of Honduras before striking Belize and crossing the southern part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Remember that the closer that the tropical storm comes to the coast of Honduras, then the more likely that the storm’s counter-clockwise rotation and surface friction of the land will make the storm curve to the left and actually go more inland than according to the NHC’s prediction path. IF that occurs, it’s likely that the storm will behave closer to the GFS model’s prediction.
It’s evident that Tropical Storm Ernesto will remain a tropical storm until it makes landfall in Central America. That being said, heavy rain along with moderate to strong wind should be arriving in the northern part of Central America within the next 12-18 hours.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING is in effect for the following location:
A TROPICAL STORM WATCH is in effect for the following locations:
- Grand Cayman
- The Honduras coastline from the Nicaragua border west to Punta Castilla.
Remember that the further south that Tropical Storm Ernesto strikes Central America, then the less likely that the storm will make it to the Gulf of Mexico. The next 12-24 hours will be key for knowing whether this storm will pose any sort of threat to the Gulf of Mexico and the continental U.S.