08 August 2012

Ernesto makes landfall, heads for Bay of Campeche

Landfall occurred at 03Z last night (11pm EDT) near Costa Maya on the Yucatan peninsula as a strengthening Category 1 hurricane.  The maximum sustained winds were 75kts and the lowest central pressure was recorded by the station on Banco Chinchorro (just offshore and east of Costa Maya) which suffered a direct hit... 979.4mb.  The radar image at landfall from Belize City and pressure trace from Banco Chinchorro (the times on the plot are wrong) are shown below.

After traversing the southern Yucatan peninsula all night, the center is just 100 miles from the Bay of Campeche.  You can find a radar loop from Sabancuy, Mexico here.  As of 09Z today (5am EDT), the intensity is 60kts and 987mb, so it has weakened to a tropical storm, but could regain hurricane status once it's over the Bay of Campeche.

A second Mexican landfall is forecast to occur near Veracruz on Thursday afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane.  Hurricane warnings (red) as well as tropical storm warnings (blue) as of 8am EDT are shown here:

In the interest of space, I will just briefly update on the easterly wave in the far eastern Atlantic, and then one that's still over Africa but is amazingly strong (it has been an easily-trackable wave since its formation on August 2 over eastern Africa).  The one over the ocean is near 13N 34W, and the one still over Africa is centered near 12N 12W.  You can see both of them on this large-scale visible satellite image from 7:45am EDT today.  Once Ernesto is out of the picture, I will focus more on these systems.  The next names on the list are Gordon and Helene.

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