Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ernesto fizzles - Tampa Bay tropical storm warnings, watches canceled

Great news for Big Cat Rescue!


Tropical Storm Ernesto is moving north-northwest through South Florida at 8 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

Bay News 9 meteorologists said the storm going through central Florida is a far better scenario than staying in the gulf or the Atlantic Ocean.

The current forecast calls for the storm to head through Florida and out to the Atlantic Ocean, then rapidly move into the Carolinas.

A flood watch is in effect for Polk, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Manatee counties until the evening. An inland tropical storm warning has been posted for Polk County.

There are no longer any hurricane watches posted for Ernesto in Florida. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Florida's entire east coast and from Bonita Beach south to the Florida Keys.

A tropical storm watch that had been in effect for the Gulf Coast from Tarpon Springs to Englewood has been dropped. title=Ernesto%20moves%20across%20South%20Florida

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rain, occasional squalls in Tampa - severe weather will stay to the east

Last Edited: Tuesday, 29 Aug 2006, 4:58 PM EDT

TAMPA – As Tropical Storm Ernesto moves closer to Florida, questions still loom about where the storm will end up. FOX 13's weather team is keeping a close eye on its projected track.

The 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center indicated Ernesto was located at 24.3N, 80.2W, having moved into the open water in the Florida Straits. It was centered about 100 miles south of MIami, and it was moving northwest at 13 mph.

FOX 13 Meteorologist Howard Shapiro said this latest advisory shows some slight changes to the projected path of the storm, but not a significant overall change.

The new track takes the storm slightly further to the west than originally anticipated. The latest advisory indicates that the storm would move slightly up Florida's west coast by 8 a.m. Wednesday, and then make the right turn forecasters have been expecting. It would continue across the state, exiting somewhere near Jacksonville.

With the morning advisory came a tropical storm watch for much of the Bay Area. The watch extends all the way up the west coast of Florida to Tarpon Springs.

Shapiro says if this track holds true, it would mean that Hardee, Desoto, Polk, and Highlands Counties would see some effects of the storm. But, he says Skytower HD Vipir indicates it's still the east coast that will bear the brunt of the weather.

"With most of the active weather in a tropical system on its east side, then the brunt of this is going to be hitting the east coast of our state more than it is the west coast of our state," Shapiro said.

He says the Bay Area can expect some rainy weather with occasional squalls moving through, but most of the severe weather that comes with the storm will stay to our east.

Shapiro says we can expect to see conditions continue to deteriorate late tonight and continuing through tomorrow.

The storm is expected to accelerate as it moves north through Florida.

Inland tropical storm watch extended for Tampa Bay area

MIAMI, Florida (AP) — Forecasters say Tropical Storm Ernesto is pulling away from the Cuban coast and moving toward Florida, but they also say the storm hasn't strengthened yet.

An inland tropical storm watch is in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota counties. Polk, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties are now under an inland tropical storm warning. Also, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center now say a coastal tropical storm watch is in effect from Englewood north to Tarpon Springs.

At 11 am, Eastern Time, Ernesto was packing 45 mile-per-hour winds and was about 180 miles south-southeast of Miami, moving northwest at 13 miles-per-hour.

Forecasters expect outer bands from Ernesto to hit the Miami area this afternoon, with weather getting worse into the evening. But they say the storm remains disorganized, and only modest strengthening is expected. They say the chance of it becoming a hurricane before hitting Florida is remote.

However, forecasters say there is a chance that Ernesto could become a hurricane after it leaves Florida and takes aim at the Carolinas.

Ernesto: 5 a.m. advisory for Tuesday

Miami, Florida - The National Hurricane Center says a tropical storm warning has been extended north along Florida's Atlantic coast to New Smyrna Beach.

A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch are now in effect from New Smyrna Beach southward on the east coast, including Lake Okeechobee, from Bonita Beach southward on the west coast and for all of the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas. A hurricane warning may be required for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys later this morning.

At 5 am, the center of Tropical Storm Ernesto was located about 230 miles southeast of Key West and about 235 miles from Miami. It's moving toward the northwest near 14 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours.

On the forecast track, the center of Ernesto will be near the Florida Keys or southeast Florida by this evening. However, squally rainbands will be moving onshore these areas during the afternoon.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ernesto moving off Cuba

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tropical Storm Ernesto's winds have slowed to near 40 mph, down from 75 mph earlier Sunday when it became the first hurricane of the Atlantic season.

As of 6 p.m. Monday, Ernesto was at 21.3 N and 76.9 W., moving off Cuba's northern coast. It is moving NW at 13 mph and its barometric pressure is at 1007 mb.

Storm warnings and watches are:

Tropical storm watch for Polk County
Tropical storm warning for southeast Florida and the Keys
Tropical storm watch on the southwest coast from Sarasota County southward
Hurricane watch on the east coast from New Smyrna Beach southward through the Keys

Bay News 9 chief meteorologist Mike Clay said the storm is currently poorly organized. Clay said the National Hurricane Center is keeping Ernesto as a tropical storm across Florida, not strengthening into a hurricane until it's past Florida.

Ernesto could affect the Florida peninsula by Wednesday.

Ernesto moved onshore in eastern Cuba Monday morning, after lashing the southern coast of Haiti and the Dominican Republic with heavy rain Sunday, flooding homes. At least one person was killed.

Bay News 9 meteorologists said Ernesto was downgraded because it interacted with the land mass of Hispaniola and its wind speed fell to 60 mph. However, it could regain strength rapidly once it emerges over open waters.

Meanwhile, the Polk County Emergency Operations Center has partially activated with minimal staff. There are no plans to open shelters unless the hurricane track changes. Other EOC's in the Bay area will meet today to decide their course of action.

Florida getting ready for brush with Tropical Storm Ernesto

The 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center has Ernesto's most likely path going well east of Tampa, but Tampa is still in the "cone of probability".


KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Floridians are getting ready for a brush with Tropical Storm Ernesto.

About 400 miles of coast are under a hurricane watch from New Smyrna Beach southward on the east coast and from Chokoloskee southward on the west coast. Sustained winds of at least 74 miles-an-hour are possible by late tomorrow night. The Keys were put under a watch yesterday afternoon.

The National Hurricane Center says that's because Ernesto could become a hurricane after it reaches the warm waters north of Cuba. Forecasters say there is a ten percent chance of hurricane-force winds striking South Florida and a 60 percent chance of tropical storm-force winds.

A state of emergency is in effect for all Florida, because forecasters say Ernesto could potentially threaten a large swath of the state by late in the week.

At 11 am, the storm had top sustained winds of 40 miles-an-hour. It's centered over Cuba, about 35 miles northwest of Guantanamo, and about 485 miles southeast from Key West. It's moving northwest at ten miles-an-hour.

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Tropical Storm Ernesto: 5 am advisory out

Miami, Florida - Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for the southern peninsula of Florida as Tropical Storm Ernesto grows closer today.

The watch was issued from Deerfield Beach near Boca Raton southward on the east coast and from Chokoloskee southward on the west coast. A hurricane watch remained in effect for all of the Florida Keys, according to the latest 5 AM advisory.

Ernesto had maximum sustained winds of 50 miles-per-hour today. But forecasters cautioned that the storm could regain hurricane strength before its anticipated arrival today on Cuba's southeastern coast.

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions could develop in the area within 36 hours.

Visitors were ordered to leave the Keys yesterday and Governor Jeb Bush issued a state of emergency because of the possibility that Ernesto could threaten much of the state.

At 5 am, the fifth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season was centered 45 miles south-southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba, and about 600 miles from the middle and lower Keys. Ernesto is moving northwest at 12 miles-per-hour.

Click here to watch our 24-hour weather channel online.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ernesto now a hurricane

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tropical Storm Ernesto strengthened into the first hurricane of the year in the Atlantic basin early Sunday morning in the Caribbean, with landfall possible in the Florida peninsula Thursday.

Its winds increased to 75 mph, thus the upgrade to hurricane status.

Ernesto's location is about 115 miles of Port Au Prince, Haiti, and 210 miles south southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba, as it moves toward the northwest at nine miles an hour.

According to Bay News 9 meteorologist Josh Linker, Ernesto's intensity prior to reaching the Gulf of Mexico will be determined by how much time it spends over Cuba. title=Ernesto%20now%20a%20hurricane

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

NOAA: August 2006 Update to Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

Issued: 8 August 2006

Atlantic Hurricane Outlook & Seasonal Climate Summary Archive


NOAA continues to predict a high likelihood (75% chance) of an above-normal 2006 Atlantic hurricane season and a 20% chance of a near-normal season, according to a consensus of scientists at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC), National Hurricane Center (NHC), and Hurricane Research Division (HRD). Therefore, 2006 is forecast to be the tenth above-normal season in the last twelve years. See NOAA’s definitions of above-, near-, and below-normal seasons.

This updated outlook calls for a seasonal total of 12-15 named storms, with 7-9 becoming hurricanes, and 3-4 becoming major hurricanes (categories 3-5 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane intensity scale). The likely range of NOAA’s Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index (Bell and Halpert, 2000) is 110%-170% of the median. These totals include the three tropical storms (Alberto, Beryl, and Chris) that have already occurred. Therefore, for the remainder of the season, we expect an additional 9-12 named storms, 7-9 hurricanes, and 3-4 major hurricanes.

The predicted 2006 activity mainly reflects a continuation of conditions associated with the multi-decadal signal, which has favored above-normal Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995. These conditions include warmer than average sea surface temperatures (SSTs), lower vertical wind shear, reduced sea level pressure, and a more conducive structure of the African easterly jet.

While we are predicting an active season, a repeat of last year’s record season is unlikely. The season is also expected to be slightly less active than previously forecast on 22 May 2006, when 13-16 Named Storms, 8-10 hurricanes, and 4-6 major hurricanes were predicted. The expected activity is lower for three reasons: 1) atmospheric and oceanic conditions are not as conducive as previously forecast, 2) the transition away from La NiƱa-like rainfall patterns occurred more quickly than expected, and 3) the very persistent upper-level ridge pattern over the eastern U.S. and western Atlantic, which contributed to the extremely active 2003-2005 hurricane seasons, is not present.


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