Live Blog: Ernesto Slams Mexico, Reaching Gulf

By Dan DePodwin, Meteorologist
August 08, 2012; 7:32 PM
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Outer bands of Ernesto reaching Belize. Photo tweeted by @BelizeFood.

6:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday: The center of Ernesto is not yet offshore, but is expected to be by 7:00 p.m. EDT. Sustained winds are at 50 mph with gusts to 65 mph.

4:00 p.m. EDT Wednesday:Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, now near the center of Ernesto, was experiencing sustained winds of 46 mph with gusts to 58 mph.

3:00 p.m. EDT Wednesday: Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, over 200 miles west-southwest of the center of Ernesto, has received nearly an inch of rain in the past several hours. Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, about 50 miles southwest of the storm center, was experiencing wind gusts to 46 mph and rain of varying intensity.

2:00 p.m. EDT Wednesday: Ernesto was located about 60 miles east of Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico. Further weakening has occurred over the Yucatan with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.

12:45 p.m. EDT Wednesday: Since Ernesto has been tracking farther south across the Yucatan, the storm is not expected to emerge into the Bay of Campeche over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico until this evening. Less time over the warm Gulf waters, 6-12 hours, means re-strengthening back into a hurricane is less likely. Ernesto should make its second landfall as a tropical storm about 50 miles south of Veracruz City, Mexico. Tropical storm-force winds and flooding rainfall are still anticipated for the city.

11:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Ernesto continues to weaken over Mexico, while producing potentially flooding rainfall. Maximum sustained winds are now 50 mph. The tropical storm is now located about 265 miles east of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. Once Ernesto emerges over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico today, eyes will turn to the the next landfall expected near Veracruz City, Mexico, and the potential for flooding rain from Veracruz to Mexico City.

9:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Torrential rainfall continues from eastern Belize and the southern coast of Mexico to the central Yucatan Peninsula. Rain is beginning to reach Campeche, Mexico. About 5.00 inches of rain has fallen Chetumal, Mexico, which was in the direct path of Ernesto's landfall. Latest radar from the Yucatan can be found below.

8:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Ernesto weakens further moving over Mexico, about 90 miles south-southeast of Campeche, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds are now 60 mph.

7:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Morning satellite imagery shows Ernesto has made a slight jog to the south as it moves over the Yucatan Peninsula. AccuWeather.com meteorologists have shifted our track map slightly farther south and forecast Ernesto to emerge into the Bay of Campeche around midday. A second landfall in Mexico is expected during the day Thursday.

5:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Due to interaction with land, Ernesto has been downgraded to a tropical storm. However, it is still lashing the Yucatan Peninsula with winds of 70 mph and torrential rainfall as it moves towards the Bay of Campeche.

3:50 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Torrential rainfall and tropical storm to hurricane conditions continue across the Yucatan Peninsula and parts of Belize. Ernesto is almost a third of the way across the peninsula and is expected to emerge into the Bay of Campeche later today.

1:50 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Ernesto remains a hurricane but winds have decreased to 80 mph. Hurricane conditions expected to continue over southern parts of the Yucatan Peninsula this morning.

1:45 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Up to 4-inches of rain has fallen in parts of Tabasco, Mexico while nearly 1-inch has soaked Cancun. Mountainous regions have no doubt received more.

1:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday: A buoy well north and east of Ernesto measures 10 foot waves and 30 mph wind gusts.

1:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday: Center of Ernesto nearing the Mexican city of Chetumal.

11:00 a.m. EDT Tuesday: Ernesto makes landfall along the southern Yucatan Peninsula as a category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds.

Ernesto poses a major flood risk to the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize.

Current radar from Sabancuy, Mexico shows rain bands of Ernesto. Courtesy of the Mexico Meteorological Service.

Infrared satellite loop of Ernesto. Red and orange colors represent cold cloud tops and heavier thunderstorms. Courtesy of NOAA.

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