Thursday, August 02, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto: August 2, Update A

Woohoo… Ernesto has arrived! He was named in the 5pm (EST) NHC advisory, after they received information from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter plane. There are two agencies that fly these planes by the way. One is the Air Force and the other is NOAA. The Air Force does routine flights to gather data about the storm for forecasting, and NOAA usually flies for research purposes. NOAA also flies if more data is needed for forecasting too of course!

The flight this afternoon found the center to be south of the NHC estimate. I am not surprised. At the 5pm advisory the official center was at 12.8N, 56.6N, heading W at 22mph. In the most recent advisory, the center was at 13.3N, 57.4W, still heading W at 22mph. I believe the 5pm advisory coordinates, but I am not convinced about the location in the 8pm advisory. I think it is south of 13.3N. First, if the track is westward then how did it move that far north (in three hours)? And second, from the satellite images the center-of-nothing-in-particular is at those coordinates!

The good news is that I finally have proper pressure field data today! Yay! This makes me happy (it doesn’t take much, does it? ;-)). I think the official track will continue to move southward (they already shifted it slightly south when they relocated the center late this afternoon). As I said a couple of days ago, I think Ernesto will cross the southern windward islands. He’ll stay in the southern Caribbean, south of the current center of cone track and at the moment it looks to me like landfall will be in central America, but that part is almost a week away so things may change.

Ernesto has winds of 50mph, with a central pressure of 1005mb. These are the values the plane found, and it makes him a weakish Tropical Storm (range: 39-73mph). Although he weakened yesterday and overnight, this morning there was an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny  tiny amount of improvement in the convection and the circulation. He’s been at that level for many hours now, so I think the aircraft findings are groovy. ;-) (no, no yellow polka-dot bikinis… Ernesto!!). The southernmost windward islands (Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, Barbados) are already experiencing a drop of rain or two from this system.

I think that is it from the Atlantic for now. Meanwhile in the far western Pacific, Typhoon Saola was downgraded to a Tropical Storm, with winds of 50mph, after crossing northern Taiwan and dumping oodles of rain. It is due to make landfall in China any minute now. To the north, Typhoon Damrey made landfall in China earlier today as a weak cat 1, with winds of 75mph. And Tropical Depression 12 formed today and is forecast to become a cat 1 Typhoon by Sunday as it crosses the southern Japanese islands – following a track similar to Damrey’s.

Hey… I missed wine’o’clock! How did that happen? Sigh. Guess I’ll move straight on to gin’o’clock (I’m following in the footsteps of royalty here ;-)).  

Until tomorrow,

Blogs archived at
Twitter @JyovianStorm

DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

No comments: