8:00 AM EDT Update 3 August,2012
Tropical Storm Ernesto is now in the Eastern Caribbean Sea and moving westward at 24 mph. This speed should help keep Ernesto from any rapid development. Lending more toward a slow development.
However, the faster speed will send Ernesto further into the Caribbean before any major strengthening can occur. The storm will have to slow down a great deal before it can gain the convection needed to intensify.
The 5 Day Cone now ends just east of Cozumel and Cancun,Mexico.
5:00 PM EDT Update 2 August 2012
Tropical Depression #5 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Ernesto, and Tropical Storm Warnings are now up for the majority of the lesser Antilles in the Eastern Caribbean.
The forecast takes the storm into the Caribbean and generally keeps it there, until possibly later in the period. Odds still favor the storm staying in the Caribbean, possibly affecting Central America or the Yucatan mid to late next week. If the system stays weak (very possible as there are quite a few blocks for development as it enters the east Caribbean), it is more likely to continue on the westerly track.
The Lesser Antilles, and Jamaica will want to watch this storm very closely over the next few days.
4:45 PM EDT Update 1 August 2012
Tropical Depression 5 forms from invest 99L, and is heading generally westward.
Tropical Storm watches are up for most of the lesser Antilles, the official forecast takes it over these islands Friday afternoon.
If it survives the eastern Caribbean, the forecast is for a hurricane in the Central Caribbean as it nears Jamaica on Monday. Those along the Eastern Caribbean will want to watch TD#5 closely. At the far end the question is how far north or south of Jamaica it stays.
2:00 PM EDT Update 1 August 2012
Invest 99L is now consolidating around a well defined low level circulation, centered near 12N 48W, and environmental conditions marginally favor continued development today, although shear over 99L may be on the increase tomorrow as the incipient cyclone has been pulling further north into a region of moderate to high shear.
NHC now has 70% probabilities up for 99L to become a tropical depression or named storm within the next 48 hours, which could be conservative, and it is possible that 99L goes strait to getting a name. The next name in the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season would be Ernesto.
8:45 AM EDT Update 1 August 2012
August begins, with a wave east of the Caribbean (99L), most guidance takes the system into the Caribbean, and keeps it relatively weak. It may form as early as tonight or tomorrow.
Odds favor a continued westward movement through the Caribbean, along with a mostly sheared system while in the eastern Caribbean. Those in the lesser Antilles will want to watch this system closely over the next few days.
After a relatively busy early season, July was entirely quiet, but it appears at least one wave may be developing as we enter August.
The marked area (20%) in the Central Atlantic appears like it could develop after a few days, but not likely in the near term. The overall pattern seems to keep it more to the south, so those in the eastern Caribbean will want to watch this as it progresses later in the week.
Another area, currently unmarked, is over the northeastern Caribbean and is important to watch as the system may approach the US later, chances are currently low that it will do much, but worth watching anyway.
July is historically mostly quiet, with the season ramping slowly up in early August, with a massive bump in mid to late August and the peak goes through the second week of October.
Barbados Radar Animation for Ernesto Approach (Alternate) (Flhurricane)
French Antilles Radar Animation for Ernesto Approach (Alternate) (Flhurricane)