August 6, 2012

Ernesto and Florence Continue West

Ernesto will continue to track through the Caribbean into early this week, bringing some gusty showers and thunderstorms to Jamaica through tonight before taking a turn toward Belize and the Yucatan.
The system is expected to maintain tropical storm strength through the next few days as it continues to fight with some dry air located around the feature. Ernesto may encounter slightly more favorable conditions later Tuesday which could allow for brief strengthening before landfall occurs near Belize.
Ernesto will brush the coast of Honduras and northeastern Nicaragua today with tropical storm force winds and flooding downpours. Due to the proximity to Central America, strengthening through tonight is unlikely. Ernesto will continue on that west-northwest track on Tuesday before making landfall somewhere in Belize Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
After passing over the Yucatan during the middle of next week, Ernesto could emerge in the southern Gulf of Mexico as a slightly weakened feature or a tropical depression.
Tropical Depression Florence continues to churn over the open waters of the Atlantic while posing no threat to land.
Satellite imagery showed very little thunderstorm activity associated with the storm, a clear sign of a weakening system. The storm is located over 1600 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands and it will continue chugging westward through the open waters of the central Atlantic the next few days.
It looks like Florence maxed out intensity wise as a large amount of dry, dusty air exists north and west of the storm which will inhibit further strengthening. meteorologists expect the gradual weakening trend to continue over the next couple of days.
As Florence passes to the north of the Lesser Antilles by the middle of this week, it will continue to fight with that dry, dusty air and that should lead to even more weakening. It's even possible that Florence will dissipate by Thursday or Friday.
By Brian Edwards, Meteorologist –

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