Ernesto Inland over Florida
At 10:00am CDT:
– A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for parts of the eastern Florida Coastline and the same continues for Sebastian Inlet, Florida northward to Cape Fear, NC. The hurricane watch has been discontinued.
– Tropical Depression Ernesto was located 55 miles west-southwest of Palm Beach, Florida. Movement is towards the north at 10mph, maximum sustained winds are near 35mph, and minimum surface pressure is 1003mb.
– Ernesto should make landfall in North/South Carolina by late Thursday as a tropical storm.
No changes to previous forecast track or intensity. NHC has finally accepted that Ernesto is not going to be a Katrina, now they only need to figure out this is 2006 not 2005.
Ernesto is inland and weakening. With such a large circulation, it will take a while for Ernesto to spin down and it should emerge into the Atlantic around 30-35mph sustained winds. Once over water, Ernesto should reorganize and may become a tropical storm again. However, with the expected increase in forward speed, Ernesto should not be able to strengthen beyond 55mph before landfall in North Carolina. 12z model guidance is well clustered around a NC/SC landfall with the only difference timing. Either way it appears that Ernesto’s third landfall will occur either late Thursday or early Friday.
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