Ernesto Makes Landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane Near Chetumal, Mexico

08-Aug-12

Hurricane Ernesto made landfall around 11 pm EDT last night, Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at Costa Maya, near the city of Chetumal, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds were 85 mph when the landfall occurred. Ernesto weakened to a tropical storm as it traversed across Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The storm is expected to re-emerge into the Bay of Campeche later today, and is forecast to remain close to the coast in the southernmost Bay of Campeche, and is not expected to re-intensify to a hurricane. A second landfall is expected to occur somewhere between Coatzacoalcos and Veracruz tomorrow morning, Thursday, August 9, 2012.

Ernesto had been upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane at 2 pm EDT on August 7th before making landfall. Ernesto brought strong winds and heavy rains to the southern portion of the Yucatan as it moved inland during the early morning hours on Wednesday, August 8th. At 5 am EDT Wednesday Ernesto was downgraded to a tropical storm with 70 mph maximum sustained winds.

Rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum amounts to 12 inches, were expected over Belize, the Yucatan Peninsula, and northern Guatemala. These rains could produce flash floods and mudslides over areas with higher terrain. A storm surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tides was predicted near and to the north of where the center crossed the coast. The offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico are not expected to be impacted by Ernesto. Cancun, a major tourist destination, about 180 miles northeast of Costa Maya was not significantly impacted by Ernesto. The insured losses from this event are not expected to be significant.

Users of EQECAT's Mexico Hurricane Model are advised to use the following event IDs to ascertain the impacts on their portfolio from this event: 8848, 8854, 8862, 9064, 9131 and 9266.

Tropical Storm Ernesto Event IDs - August 8, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto Event IDs - August 8, 2012
Source: EQECAT

As of 11 am EDT Wednesday, Ernesto was inland about 265 miles east of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, on Mexico's Gulf Coast, located at latitude 18.7N, longitude 90.4W. Maximum sustained winds have dropped to 50 mph, and additional weakening is expected as the storm continues to move over land. Ernesto is moving to the west at 15 mph, and is expected to emerge this afternoon into the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Ernesto is forecast to remain close to the coast in the southernmost Bay of Campeche, and re-intensification to hurricane status is not expected at this time. On its current forecast track, Ernesto's second landfall is expected to occur somewhere between Coatzacoalcos and Veracruz tomorrow morning, Thursday, August 9, 2012.

Tropical Storm Ernesto Potential Storm Track - August 8, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto Potential Storm Track - August 8, 2012
Source: National Hurricane Center (NHC)

EQECAT will monitor this event and provide updates as more information becomes available.

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