More on Tropical Storm Ernesto

August 25, 2006

After a brief period where it looked like the low level center was becoming detatched from the mid level convection, convection has formed close to the center, suggesting that while the storm is being affected by shear, it is not being affected enough to threaten it’s existence.
Drama queen antics aside, the big picture for Ernesto remains essentially the same as yesterday. Upper level shear will keep intensification at a minimum as he moves towards Jamaica. After that, higher heat content in the waters underneath the storm combined with a more favorable upper air enviroment should allow significant intensification, setting up a worrisome situation in the Gulf of Mexico.

The current NHC forecast is indicates less uncertainty over that scenario; the forecaster is apparently satisifed that the shear will abate over the course of the next day. The models are in excellent agreement for the first two days of the forecast, but diverge significantly after that. One shouldn’t put much weight in the track forecast after that, Because it’s just a hedge of the different model outputs, it doesn’t favor any of them. 5 day forecasts always have a large amount of uncertainty in them, but it’s even moreso in this instance.  Everyone on the Gulf coast should keep a bit of an eye on Ernesto this weekend to see how the forecast evolves and be thinking about what preparations they may need to make during the early part of next week.

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