ernesto is responding to the baroclinic environment. the pressure has fallen about 6 mb in 12 hrs reasonable to assume that between now and landfall it will drop another 4-5 mb... to the 989-990 range. that usually accompanies a minimal hurricane. latest radar shows more of an eyewall structure than earlier. there's a possibility that ernesto will stage a little bit more of a rally, but it could just as easily hold steady. the official taking it to 60 kt is sensible and right in the middle of the range of possibilities. on the forecast track, the center looks to move inland near north myrtle beach, sc. that would put the worst weather in brunswick county from southport over to calabash. since yesterday the structure of ernesto has had the largest banding immediately west of the center, so horry county isn't going to get it easy, either. tropical storm force winds will probably extend inland to around maybe elizabethtown, and maybe spotty in other eastern locations in north carolina with exposures to the pamlico and albemarle sounds, or on the atlantic coast, getting such winds. there might also be some spotty reports in or off the mid-atlantic states with the increasing gradient near the coast. ernesto will be ashore tonight, and probably extratropical by saturday. there is nothing imminent to take its place. there is an upper trough-induced surface boundary north of puerto rico that doesn't show any inclination to develop. the persistent low near 17/50, with its sporadic convection, doesn't look any better organized and has yet to do anything new (environment ahead will moisten up, but not for a couple more days... days it may not have). the wave near 33-34w is hung along an itcz monsoon trough, and not standing out by itself very well. globals continue to forecast development in this area, but no longer single it out (another wave coming off now has their blessing). if nothing is active in the basin when ernesto is written off, i don't think it'll take long to get something. we're very close to the seasonal peak, and the eastpac continues active. HF 1633z31august
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