Tropics Heating Up for August
August 3rd, 2012 3pm Update
Things are still getting hotter in the Atlantic Basin. The disorganized system from this morning is now Invest 91L. The NHC is giving this a 20% shot at development. At the very least, this system will bring a lot of rain to central and south Florida this weekend.
Ernesto is moving away from the Windward Islands this afternoon. It's still moving fast, 21 MPH with 50 MPH sustained winds. The model tracks still take it south of Jamaica and the Caymans as a hurricane early next week. The models are split as to a system in the Gulf, or a system that runs across the Yucatan. The next few days will be interesting for Ernesto.
90L is still far out near the Cape Verde Islands. Though the NHC sees a 50% shot at development for this system, in a day or so it will enter an area of dry air and cooler waters. This will likely inhibit development. The models are still widespread on this system but it bears watching.
August 3rd, 0700 post
So yes...we do have our next named storm. tropical Storm Ernesto is moving westward thru the Eastern Caribbean at 24mph. Ernesto currently has 45mph winds. The westward speed of 24mph should keep Ernesto from any rapid intensification. It will also drive further into the Caribbean as it slowly develops.
Imagery shows some dry air entering the storm and patchy thunderstorm activity. These are signs of a storm that is barely holding together. Ernesto is going thru some moderate shear, so we'll be watching how well he survives the next couple of days.
The current forecast track takes Ernesto just south of Jamaica by 2 am on Monday as a minimal hurricane and moves by the Cayman Islands thru Tuesday. By Wednesday, the storm should be somewhere near or to the east of Cozumel and Cancun.
Ernesto could survive as a hurricane and enter the Gulf of Mexico. We'll be watching that closely.
Meanwhile, some 175 south of the Cape Verde Islands there is a very well define low pressure area associated with a tropical wave now called Invest 90L. Some development of this system is possible and the nHC gives this a 30% shot at development over the next 48 hours. The initial model runs take this system westerly, but north of the track that Ernesto has taken. This system bears watching over the next few days.
There is also some disorganized weather over the central and northwest Bahamas. Shear is kind of intense and that system is not likely to develop. However, it may bring some rain, winds and rough seas to the Florida Atlantic coast for the weekend.
The bottom line to remember is that we are nearing the height of hurricane season. This is time to check your supplies, make sure your go-bags are packed and be sure to stay informed and have a plan!