Ernesto is Approaching the East Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula
Tropical Storm Ernesto is intensifying as it moves through the northwestern Caribbean and should strike the East coast of the Yucatan Peninsula Tuesday night, possibly as a minimal hurricane. Ernesto is expected to traverse across the Yucatan and emerge into the Bay of Campeche on Wednesday, August 8, 2012. It is not uncommon for hurricanes and tropical storms to cross the Yucatan Peninsula and enter the Bay of Campeche in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes Karl (2010), Keith (2000) and Dean (2007) are several historical examples of hurricanes from the past decade whose tracks closely match that of Ernesto's.
Tropical Storm Ernesto Potential Storm Track - August 7, 2012
Source: National Hurricane Center (NHC)
At 11 am EDT today, Tuesday, August 7th, maximum sustained winds were 65 mph, and Ernesto is forecast to become a hurricane later today. The center of the storm was at latitude 18.1N, longitude 85.0W, about 220 miles east of Chetumal, Mexico, on the eastern Yucatan coast. The storm is forecast to intensify today and may become a Category 1 hurricane by landfall tonight.
Ernesto is moving to the west-northwest at 14 mph, and should reach the coast this evening. Ernesto will move across the Yucatan on Wednesday, and should emerge into the Bay of Campeche in the southern Gulf of Mexico overnight on Wednesday.
A hurricane warning is in effect for the coast of Belize, and in Mexico from Chetumal north to Tulum on the east coast of the Yucatan.
Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches are possible along the northern coast of Honduras, with up to 8 inches possible over mountainous terrain. Total rainfall in the eastern Yucatan should be 4 to 8 inches, with up to 12 inches in Belize. A storm surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tides is possible near and to the north of where the center crosses the coast tonight.
EQECAT will continue to monitor this event and report future developments.
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