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Weather Blog: 10 pm Ernesto Update

Weather Blog: 10 pm Ernesto Update

by Gene Norman

khou.com

Posted on August 5, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 6:55 AM

This is the most Ernesto has looked like a tropical storm over the past few days.  From Saturday through this afternoon, the storm has been battling strong upper level winds which made it look lop-sided on the satellite imagery.  Most of the stronger thunderstorms were forming to the right of the center.  As it passed south of Jamaica, it brought squally weather to that island nation, but nothing more. Tonight, more of the storms are developing on Ernesto's west side, wrapping around the center of circulation.  While Ernesto remains a tropical storm, it could get a little stronger tomorrow as it moves over mid to upper 80 degree water a few hundred miles off the Honduran coast.

The new track from the National Hurricane Center indicates that Ernesto will have the biggest impact on Honduras and Belize by Tuesday:

It could be a hurricane by then, bringing gusty winds and torrential rains that may trigger mud-slides.  The steering flow will continue to push it westward, but a small weakness in that flow could allow it drift a little to the northwest.  After slamming into some part of the Central American coast Wednesday, the real challenge for this storm is crossing the over the mountainous terrain and retaining any of its structure.  Computer models still insist this is possible and put the storm into the far Southern Gulf of Mexico by Thursday.  The nearly 90° water there should allow Ernesto to strengthen, if there's anything left after its mountain crossing. 

However, it is unlikely that would become a hurricane again as it moves near Tampico sometime Friday.  It will be too far south to affect even the most southern part of Texas and Houston shouldn't notice any impact from this storm.

 

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