Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

Tropical disturbance, expected to be Tropical Storm Ernesto this morning, still at depression status

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on August 2, 2012

Tropical disturbance, expected to be Tropical Storm Ernesto this morning, still at depression statusThe tropical disturbance moving through the western Atlantic that was expected to become Tropical Storm Ernesto early this morning remains at depression status.

The depression continues to pack winds of about 35 mph but is poorly organized, according to National Hurricane Center specialists in Miami.

The storm is moving toward the west near 21 mph and is expected to continue west or northwest over the next couple of days. The depression’s center should be near the Windward Islands Friday.
While the storm is not expected to gain in intensity today, hurricane specialists expect it to strengthen in the next few days.

Ernesto has little to no chance of affecting Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast any time soon, said Dave Roberts, a Navy hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center.

A high-pressure area parked over the western Atlantic is expected to keep the storm in the Caribbean Sea instead of drifting north toward South Florida, said Roberts.

The National Hurricane Center’s cone of probability places the storm in the Caribbean Sea, beneath Puerto Rico, by Saturday. Forecasters expect to be calling the storm a hurricane by Monday, when it’s projected to reach the waters south of Jamaica, about 600 miles southeast of Miami.

It’ll take a little longer for the storm to strengthen because its current location is only “marginally” conducive for development, Roberts said. For it to gain any strength, the storm would have to make its way into the Caribbean Sea.

“We’re looking for gradual development over the next couple of days,” Roberts said.
A tropical storm watch has been issued for the Lesser Antilles. Should the storm fight its way through the high-pressure area and cut a path north toward Florida, it would be a “considerably weaker” system, Roberts said.

This won’t be the first time a stormed named Ernesto looms over the Atlantic. In 2006, a different Tropical Storm Ernesto struck Aug. 30, with winds that sloshed 3 feet of sand into the Port of Palm Beach’s channel, blocking cargo ships and costing port businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars.
That Ernesto crossed Palm Beach County with winds generally no higher than 40 mph. Its waves caused erosion problems as well.

With hurricane season headed into its peak, the first tropical wave to originate off the coast of Africa will likely soon develop into a tropical storm.

As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, Roberts said forecasters believed there was a good possibility that T.D. Five would become Ernesto, as it looms over the the Atlantic Ocean, east of the Lesser Antilles. It still had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph as it moved west-northwest at about 18 mph.

The National Hurricane Center’s cone of probability places the storm in the Caribbean Sea, beneath Puerto Rico, by Saturday. By the time it reaches the waters south of Jamaica on Monday, forecasters expect to be calling Ernesto a hurricane.

Distributed by Viestly

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