Thoughts on Ernesto…. Will It Impact Alabama or Mexico? Saturday Morning Update 9am
August 4, 2012 Leave a comment
Good Saturday morning to you! Tropical Storm Ernesto is looking really good this morning in terms of thunderstorm convection and outflow. This is becoming a very healthy system as it moves though the Caribbean this morning. Deep thunderstorms around the center of circulation will allow pressure to continue to fall and windspeed to continue to increase. I wouldn’t be shocked if this is upgraded to a hurricane today or tomorrow, unless something changes. The environment is become more and more conducive for development, so the big question now comes into play… where does he go from here?
Above is the latest 12z forecast models that indicate the possible path Ernesto will take. There’s two main ideas on the map… One, the storm continues west northwest and hits the ridge to the north and cuts a little more west into Mexico. This would be if the ridge of the Gulf is too strong for it to cut north. A hurricane can’t run into a ridge of high pressure. Hurricanes follow the path of least resistance. Say you’re driving down the road in a new car and the road comes to a fork. One path takes you down a nice, smooth, flat road while the other path takes you into a large brick wall. The brick wall is the ridge and the nice flat road is the easiest way around the ridge.
I’m concerned that there will be a weakness between the ridge near the Bahamas and the ridge over Texas. Most forecast data shows a trough moving across the upper midwest, which would form this weakness between the two ridges. I’ve looked back at some past storms and found that storms have turned north into that weakness many times.
Here’s the key… If Ernesto continues to get stronger than expected and becomes a full blown hurricane and if that weakness is there, this storm will move towards the northern or eastern Gulf Coast, as in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or Florida. A stronger storm would more than likely take that path.
If Ernesto is weaker and remains a tropical storm or weak hurricane and the ridge is stronger than expected to the north, the storm will go into Mexico with no issues around here.
It’s going to take another day or two to iron out this, but you notice a few tropical models bring the storm north in 5 to 6 days. We’ve got to watch this! I’m not ready to buy into the storm moving into Mexico just yet. That being said, don’t cancel your beach trip just yet either. Give me another day or two to fine-tune the forecast. If the forecast path changes, I’ll let you know.
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