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August 2012

Ernesto to Make Landfall Tonight as a Hurricane

   Posted by Levi at 2:11pm on August 7, 2012

Ernesto is now deepening again after a delay yesterday when its small, fragile core collapsed and allowed some dry air into the circulation, forcing Ernesto to rebuild from scratch. The pattern is very conducive in the western Caribbean for intensification, but Ernesto got a little too excited too fast, and had to reset. The pressure is now falling again, down to 988mb, and Ernesto should easily attain hurricane-force winds before landfall near Chetumel, Mexico late tonight. Ernesto’s core is still small, but his spiral bands expanded yesterday and have broadened the wind field of the storm as a whole, so a large area of rain and TS-force winds will be slamming Mexico and Belize as the center comes ashore. Ernesto will be weakened by the crossing of the Yucatan, but will likely restrengthen some on the other side in the Bay of Campeche, possibly back to hurricane strength if it moves far enough north to get more time over water. However, the 2nd landfall will occur relatively quickly, not allowing much time for intensification. This will be a classic double hit for Mexico, with flooding rains probably being a bigger problem for them than the winds.

In the rest of the Atlantic, we have ex-Florence and Invest 92L in the central Atlantic. The models are not excited about either system, and develop nothing in the Atlantic during the next 10 days. The GFS and CMC hint that the Gulf of Mexico will remain somewhat active after Ernesto leaves, with upper ridging and some low-level disturbances possibly making some noise during the next 8 days, but right now no immediate or significant threats are apparent.

The MJO is forecasted to move deeply into phases 1 and 2 over the next two weeks, supporting an active Atlantic overall, and the GFS has been bullish on many Cape Verde waves that it has moving off of Africa during that time. As promised pre-season, the African wave train is strong this year, but will have trouble generating storms in the deep tropics, and these waves are more likely to develop after they get north of 20N and farther west. We will have to watch for some of these to sneak up on us closer to our back yard. Overall, there are no immediate development threats after Ernesto leaves.

We shall see what happens!




  • Natureobs says:

    Thanks for the very clear updates.

    Sent you email.

  • Gerry D says:

    Thanks for the updates Levi. Great analysis as always. I am down near Playa del Carmen, so keeping a close eye on Ernesto.

    My little geography insert… Mexico is North America not Central America. 😉

  • Chester W says:

    all right Levi I saw where you were in discussion on wunderground about models and things, my question is it seems a lot of times I see where you and others like storm and Dr Master’s say the models show nothing for the next 7 to 10 days and 2 days later we have a system what I’m trying to figure out is how does this happen. I’m just wondering. I know you have alot to do when you have time maybe you could give me answer, I’m not doubting you I’m just wondering how it works.I’ve started to get intrested in the tropics.

    • hello says:

      if you think that it is possible to not make mistakes when forecasting the future of weather patterns you are mistaken.

      • Chester W says:

        That’s why I asked Levi and not you. I’m not being critical I was just wondering how it happens, I know sometimes the models don’t see something and Levi will say keep an eye on an area and sure enough somethings pops up.

        • Sveta says:

          I’ll be putting up a link shrtloy for everyone, but we had a technical glitch that I’m trying to resolve, but the wireless in that area is scarce. I’ll post something as soon as I get it fixed. I apologize for the delay!

    • Levi says:

      Well heck, obviously forecasting isn’t perfect, and sometimes systems are going to pop out of nowhere and neither man or model sees it coming. It happens. The weather can be tricky.

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