Models go with best case scenario for Ernesto
August 28, 2006
The 00Z runs of the dynamic forecast models as hoped, brought forth near perfect agreement on the US landfall of Ernesto. The forecast features about 12 hours of time over water before going ashore in Cuba, followed by 24 hours of Cuba and then 12-24 hours over water before coming ashore in the southern-most part of mainland Florida, in the Everglades or just east thereof.
It is in line with the best case scenario described in the previous post. The added bonus is his severely weakened state. The reconaissance plane found that pressure has increased to 1008 millibars. That combined with the fact that Ernesto only has another 6 hours or so before entering Cuba strongly suggests that Ernesto would be quite fortunate to come out of Cuba at tropical storm strength. Having only 24 hours of less would provide too little time for for Ernesto to reintensify into anything more significant than a rain event.
The big caveat to this is that Cuba is not much more than 50 miles wide, and is narrower than that at many points. As such, it would take only a small northward bump to put Ernesto on a track that runs along the north coast of Cuba, instead of down the middle. Such a track would maintain provide far more opportunity to be a threat to cause damage in the middle to upper Keys. The position of Ernesto at 8 AM will give a decent clue as to whether such a scenario will play out.