Tropical Storm Ernesto, the Atlantic Season’s Fifth Named Storm, Forms and Moves into the Caribbean
Tropical Storm Ernesto formed in the Atlantic roughly 300 miles east of the Windward Islands on Thursday afternoon, August 2, 2012. The storm moved quickly to the west at 24 mph, and by 8 am EDT Friday, August 3, Ernesto had tracked between the islands of St. Lucia and St. Vincent. Maximum sustained winds were 45 mph with St. Lucia reporting a gust of 63 mph. Ernesto is expected to become a hurricane on Sunday, and by Wednesday, August 8, 2012, it is expected to be near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Tropical Storm Ernesto Potential Storm Track - August 3, 2012
Source: National Hurricane Center (NHC)
As of 11 am EDT Friday, the center of Ernesto was located at longitude 62.3W, latitude 13.7N, and was 90 miles west of St. Vincent. The storm is moving to the west at 21 mph, and this general motion should continue over the next two days, bringing Ernesto through the eastern and central Caribbean. Maximum sustained winds are 50 mph, and only slight changes in intensity are expected in the near-term due to an unfavorable shear environment and its rapid motion.
By late in the weekend, Ernesto is forecast to slow its forward motion and turn more to the west-northwest towards the northwestern Caribbean. Environmental conditions are expected to become more conducive for strengthening, and Ernesto could become a hurricane overnight on Sunday as it moves south of Jamaica. The long-range forecast track shows Ernesto as a 90 mph hurricane in the vicinity of Cozumel and Cancun on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula by Wednesday morning, August 8, 2012.
EQECAT will continue to monitor this storm and report future developments.
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