09 August 2012

Ernesto nearly a hurricane again, activity in the eastern Atlantic

Ernesto is slow to give up, and after spending over a week in the central Atlantic amidst dry air, then getting its top ripped off by vertical shear, then some more dry air in the eastern Caribbean, then making landfall on the Yucatan and spending 18 hours over land, now it's BARELY over the warm waters of the southern Bay of Campeche and is intensifying!  It left the Yucatan peninsula as a 45kt tropical storm, and as of 09Z today (5am EDT), it's back up to 60kts and on an upward trend... at least for a few more hours before it makes its second and final landfall near Coatzacoalco in southern Veracruz (look for the surface pressure trace here).

I have another radar loop available here --look for the one from Alvarado -- which is capturing its journey along the southern Bay of Campeche.  It has been raining hard in Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala with reports of the expected flash flooding and mudslides.  The image below shows the forecast rain over the next 24 hours... up to another 7" in the same areas that have already gotten several inches.

Now moving on to the systems further east.  The easterly wave I've been mentioning since Monday continues to get better organized and is now located about 1400 miles east of the Lesser Antilles (near 15N 40W).

Models do now carry this through at least 5 days, and generally strengthen it as it heads W-WNW.  It should reach the Lesser Antilles in about 3 days, and after that, the concensus shows a track similar to Ernesto's.  If so, it would be near Jamaica by Tuesday.  But that is too far out to rely on... first it needs to become a Tropical Depression before we worry about where it's going!  It has some big hurdles in the next few days: it's tracking along the southern periphery of a strong SAL airmass, so very dry low-mid level air is a threat to it... and an upper-level low to its north will introduce some hefty vertical shear once it reaches about 50W.  In other words, this may become a TD or a TS, but isn't anything too threatening just yet.

The potent easterly wave that I briefly mentioned yesterday is still over Africa, but should be on its way out later today.  The embedded 1005mb Low is centered near 14N 13W.

Although it looks impressive now and has for the past week, most global models don't intensify it in the long term.  Perhaps it will get numbered/named within the next 3-4 days, but after that, most models lose it.  We'll see... it's not even over the ocean yet, and no regional models have been run on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment