Tropical Storm "Ernesto" Strengthening in the Caribbean - Tropical Storm Watch for Jamaica; Tropical Storm "Florence" in far E. Atlantic....
Tropical storm "Ernesto" continues to steadily organize & strengthen on its trip west through the Caribbean. A tropical storm WATCH has been issued for Jamaica. Interestingly....a couple of the typically more reliable forecast models -- the GFS & European model -- do not show much development or even weaken the cyclone. The GFS, however, has occasionally shown a stronger storm & is back to showing a hurricane in recent model output. The GFS -- along with most of the model suite -- has also generally shifted south showing a track across the Yucatan Peninsula, far Western Gulf then Mexico late in the week south of Texas. The European model still shows a weak system headed just about due west. Neither model was particularly good with their analysis. Now that "Ernesto" is strengthening, better initialization of the storm should start soon. Strength will have a lot to do with where "Ernesto" ultimately goes as a weaker system will trend more south, a stronger system more west/northwest. Otherwise, the primary steering mechanism continues to be the expansive upper level ridge over the Southern U.S. & -- in the long run -- how the ridge orients itself which will be critical next week as "Ernesto" approaches Central America & the Yucatan Peninsula. It does appear the ridge will be stout near & just west of Texas which could be the key in keeping "Ernesto" on a more westward path. The wild card will be a persistent trough moving into -- & staying in -- the Eastern U.S. Models insist the trough will not be deep enough to nudge "Ernesto"northward. Given that the trough won't build into the Eastern U.S. until early in the week, it seems logical that "Ernesto" will stay on a mostly westward path through at least the weekend.
As for intensity -- as the NHC points out -- it seems strange that some forecast models show a weak system in what appears to be a pretty favorable pattern for intensification.
"Ernesto" is not a threat to Florida....as long as the Eastern U.S. trough does not have much effect on the storm.A weak tropical wave
is moving into Florida & remains disorganized with scattered showers & storms. A weak surface low has evolved east of Cape Canaveral & will move across Florida through Sunday The wave might be something to watch once in the Eastern Gulf where it could turn more northward as the fairly strong trough of low pressure moves into the Eastern U.S. Forecast models, however, generally show little or no development.Tropical depression #6 has become tropical storm "Florence"
in the in the far E. Atlantic & is headed west/northwest. Forecast models & the NHC are not enthused about this system & dissipate the depression in 3-5 days. But it's not a certainty at this point. A tremendous amount of shear is located several hundred miles east of Puerto Rico at the base of an upper level low. If the shear doesn't change then "Florence" will indeed struggle as it enters the Central Atlantic.Yet another active tropical wave
will move west off the coast of Africa within the next couple days.