Ernesto Completes Transformation to Hector

By , Senior Meteorologist
August 14, 2012; 6:48 PM ET
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This satellite image, courtesy of NOAA, captured Ernesto after its transformation to Hector Sunday morning.

Once-hurricane Ernesto from the Atlantic Ocean has completed its transformation to Tropical Storm Hector in the eastern Pacific.

Mexico's mountainous terrain forced Ernesto to weaken to a tropical rainstorm on Friday, but did not lead to the total demise of the deadly storm.

Instead, a piece of Ernesto developed into Tropical Depression 8-E after emerging over the warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean west of Manzanillo, Mexico, on Saturday.

Further strengthening continued and T.D. 8-E became a tropical storm Saturday night, but the depression was not reclassified as Ernesto. Instead, it acquired the eastern Pacific name of "Hector."

Check out the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center for the latest statistics on Tropical Storm Hector.

The only way the depression could have continued to be called Ernesto is if it maintained tropical depression or higher status across Mexico--a rare feat for any tropical system due to the high mountains that call Mexico home.

A piece of Ernesto surviving the trip from Mexico to the eastern Pacific is an unusual feat in itself. Once a tropical storm or hurricane weakens to a tropical rainstorm over Mexico or Central America, that typically means an end to its life.

Hector will not spell more trouble for Mexico as Ernesto did last week.

The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center instead expects Hector to continue to track away from mainland Mexico, in a fashion similar to Gilma.

Hector will pass very near Clarion Island, a small uninhabited land mass, Tuesday morning

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