Ernesto Pulls it Together, Should Make Hurricane Status before Landfall.
Last Visible Image of the Day:
As predicted earlier in the week by many models and forecasters... Ernesto ramped up in intensity as soon as he slowed down and reached really warm water. A vastly different image for this storm from the way he looked last night. But, as I said earlier in the week he has a history of pulsing up and down frequently and if he met the right conditions he might become a hurricane. The right conditions suddenly existed and voila... Ernesto is looking more like a Hurricane than a Tropical Storm. Either way he is definitely a contender for the Hurricane Title and he will most likely become a Hurricane before landfall.
My one complaint is that he still looks like half a storm when you look close up, but that's really nit picking. In honesty, he's looking good.
Nice signature on the visible satellite ... rounded, curved bands and what appears to be an eye like feature trying to peak out before he rams into Belize and the Yucatan Peninsular.
Aside from the change in intensity it is worth noting that around the same time Ernesto pulsated up and became stronger he also changed directions ever so slightly and he has continued doing so all afternoon. It may seem a minute difference, however even a matter of degrees over time make a big difference in landfall and in this case a more WNW track keeps Ernesto over warm water longer where he can maintain his sudden growth spurt.
PMStewart18A08/06 2:00 AM15.0N79.9W50MPH1003mbW at 13 MPH (270 deg)TSErnesto08/06 1:44 AMBrennan1908/06 5:00 AM15.1N80.5W50MPH1003mbW at 12 MPH (275 deg)TSErnesto08/06 4:47 AMBrennan19A08/06 8:00 AM15.2N81.0W50MPH1003mbW at 12 MPH (275 deg)TSErnesto08/06 8:08 AMPasch2008/06 11:00 AM15.8N80.5W65MPH994mbWnw at 9 MPH (285 deg)TSErnesto08/06 11:02 AMPasch20A08/06 2:00 PM16.2N81.1W65MPH996mbWnw at 12 MPH (290 deg)TSErnesto08/06 1:59 PMPasch2108/06 5:00 PM16.2N81.6W65MPH995mbWnw at 12 MPH (295 deg)TSErnesto08/06 4:47 PMPasch21A08/06 8:00 PM16.5N82.1W65MPH995mbWnw at 12 MPH (295 deg)TSErnesto08/06 7:38
He went from 270 degrees at 2AM to 295 degrees at 8pm ... if this continues they may have to change the direction from WNW to NW... as always, time will tell.
The government of Belize has issued HURRICANE WARNINGS meaning they expect to have the effects of a Hurricane not a Tropical Storm. Good call ... as things look now.
I imagine at 11 PM the NHC will upgrade Ernesto to a Hurricane. Hard to say, they may want to see continued, consistent growth as he has had a history of being inconsistent.
The other thing worth mentioning with regard to Ernesto is..he slowed down because he hit the edge of the high and that also allows him to move more poleward than previously. How much remains the question.
In weird weather news... South Florida has an increased flow of tropical moisture as the Upper Level Low in the Gulf of Mexico and the once yellow circle over Northern Florida (that is still kicking up weather) is drawing moisture off the top of Ernesto and funneling it up towards South Florida. In direct effects maybe, but it ups the tropical moisture mess in Miami even more than normal.
This can be seen if you follow the blue dots from the top of Ernesto up towards Tampa.