Colleagues, FORECAST: Tropical Storm Ernesto has arrived at St, Lucia in the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles with maximum winds of 45 mph streaking westward at 24 mph. No chance of landfall in Eastern Florida. Ernesto will arrive at or near the Yucatan Channel mid next week, probably as a hurricane. From there it is less certain, but Texas or Mexico are the most likely points of landfall about 9 days from now. Looking nearly two weeks in advance, it is not likely Florida will be impacted. If that is wrong, it would be confined to the Western Panhandle. By Monday, that situation should be clear.
DISCUSSION: A strong subtropical ridge is pushing Ernesto westward. This ridge is building westward for the next several days. After that, near mid week, next week, a trough will begin to exert itself. If it extends to Cuba, a weak hurricane Ernesto will turn NW. If it does not extend far enough south, then Ernesto will continue westward. It is largely dependent on the strength of the southern end of this trough which now is thousands of miles away. By Sunday, Ernesto should be South of Haiti, but at least through the weekend pretty much in open water in the Caribbean Sea.
NEXT FORECAST: Tomorrow morning, Saturday August 4.
DISCLAIMER: The Florida State University required that I not use any FSU equipment to send out these forecasts. To comply, I have purchased my own computer for making and sending these forecasts. I have been touched by the many offers of encouragement and support that I have received. I am deeply indebted to the Secretary and the staff of the Department of Children and Families who value these forecasts for the citizens of Florida. Also to the firm Hayes Computer Systems, which set up the distribution software and is providing for the distribution of these forecasts at no cost. They are very professional and competent. I acknowledge that these forecasts are mine alone, by my own effort and initiative. I only try to provide the best possible forecasts for the community, and the State of Florida and now, surrounding states at no cost to those who receive it.
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Peter S. Ray
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