Ernesto Turns Deadly in Mexico; Seven Killed

By , Senior Meteorologist
August 12, 2012; 4:30 AM ET
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A vendor recovers a cooler after vendors were caught unprepared when high waves from Ernesto dragged their beach stalls into the sea in Veracruz, Mexico, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

Ernesto has dissipated over the mountainous terrain of Mexico, where the once-hurricane is being blamed for the deaths of seven people, according to Reuters.

Ernesto is currently a tropical rainstorm, significantly weaker than when it was a hurricane packing winds of 85 mph and making its first landfall along the Yucatan Peninsula's southern coast Tuesday night.

After briefly emerging into the Bay of Campeche, Ernesto then came onshore for a final time around Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, Thursday afternoon as a tropical storm with winds of 60 mph.

The Hurricane Center has the latest statistics on Ernesto.

Lives are at risk through the weekend as torrential rain continues to inundate the higher terrain in the southern Sierra Madre Oriental (the mountains east of Mexico City) and the Sierra Madre del Sur (the mountains inland from Manzanillo and Acapulco on Mexico's Pacific coast).

Rainfall totals will easily top a foot in some of these mountains, leading to serious flooding and life-threatening mudslides.

In the lower elevations, rain amounts have already exceeded 8 inches at Arriaga (located just inland from the Gulf of Tehuantepec on Mexico's western coast) and 6 inches at Veracruz (on Mexico's Gulf of Mexico side).

The mountains surrounding Mexico City will continue to spare the nation's capital from the worst of Ernesto's deluge with showers occasionally in the forecast through the weekend.

However, Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski warned those living in the city's north- to northeast-facing hillsides are still at risk for heavier rain and localized flooding.

The significant soaking for southern Mexico comes despite Ernesto having dissipated, but that does not mean Ernesto's total demise is in the future.

Ernesto may come alive once again in the eastern Pacific this weekend, acquiring a new name in the process.

Expert Videos on Ernesto


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