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Forecast: Hurricane Ernesto Strengthens

10:18 PM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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    Hurricane Ernesto is strengthening as it moves quickly toward the southern Yucatan Peninsula.  The storm has gathered plenty of moisture in the form of showers and thunderstorms, capable of producing a foot of rain in portions of Belize, Guatemala, northern Honduras and southeastern Mexico through the middle of this week.

Rainfall rates of up to a couple of inches per hour can not only flood streams and drainage systems, but lead to mudslides in hilly and mountainous areas inland of the coast.

    On the forecast track...the center will cross the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula this evening.  The center of Ernesto is forecast to move across the Yucatan Peninsula late tonight and early Wednesday...and emerge over the Bay of Campeche by Wednesday afternoon or evening.

Here are the latest stats on Hurricane Ernesto from the National Hurricane Center:

STATS:

LOCATION...18.7N 87.1W
ABOUT 65 MI...105 KM E OF CHETUMAL MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 270 DEGREES AT 18 MPH...30 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...980 MB...28.94 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
CHETUMAL TO TULUM ON THE EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA
COZUMEL COAST OF BELIZE FROM BELIZE CITY NORTHWARD TO THE BORDER OF MEXICO

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
 NORTH OF TULUM TO CABO CATOCHE ON THE EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA
SOUTH OF BELIZE CITY SOUTHWARD TO THE BORDER OF GUATEMALA
CELESTUN SOUTHWARD AND WESTWARD TO CHILITEPEC ALONG THE GULF COAST
OF MEXICO.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND...HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO REACH THE EAST COAST OF
THE YUCATAN PENINSULA IN THE WARNING AREA TONIGHT.  TROPICAL STORM
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED ALONG PORTIONS OF THE GULF COAST OF MEXICO
IN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA BY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.

RAINFALL...ERNESTO IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL
ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ALONG THE NORTHERN COAST OF
HONDURAS...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 8 INCHES OVER
MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.  TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES
WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 12 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER
BELIZE...THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND NORTHERN GUATEMALA.  THESE
RAINS MAY PRODUCE LIFE THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES OVER
HIGHER TERRAIN.

STORM SURGE...A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY
AS MUCH AS 2 TO 4 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS ALONG THE IMMEDIATE
COAST NEAR AND TO THE NORTH OF WHERE THE CENTER MAKES LANDFALL ON
THE EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA.  A STORM SURGE OF 1 TO 3
FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS IS LIKELY IN AREAS OF ONSHORE WINDS
IN THE WARNING AREA ALONG THE GULF COAST OF MEXICO.  NEAR THE
COAST...THE SURGE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DANGEROUS WAVES.
RECENT REPORTS FROM HAM RADIO OPERATORS INDICATE STORM SURGE
FLOODING OF MORE THAN 2 FEET HAS OCCURRED ON AMBERGRIS CAYE ISLAND
BELIZE.

Track Ernesto: Forecast track and live zoom radar

Caribbean satellite radar

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Local forecast: Florida zoom radar, Bay area radar