Tropical Storm Ernesto may bring rain, gusty winds to the British Isles

By Faith Eherts, AccuWeather meteorologist
August 17, 2018, 3:06:17 AM EDT

The Atlantic Basin is uncharacteristically quiet for mid-August, with the exception of Tropical Storm Ernesto in the north-central Atlantic Ocean.

Ernesto was once a subtropical storm, having both tropical and non-tropical characteristics. However, it became a tropical storm late on Thursday.

According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, Ernesto has some potential for further strengthening before weakening over colder waters during the next couple of days.

Ernesto 8.17 AM

Wind shear, which inhibited development this past weekend, diminished enough to allow a subtropical depression to form on Monday night and a subtropical storm on Tuesday.

Wind shear is a large area of straight-line winds that generally increase at different elevations of the atmosphere or along the surface of the ocean.

Ernesto will only be a threat to trans-Atlantic ships.

Winds from the storm will generate significant swells over part of the north-central Atlantic.

Some of these swells may reach the Azores in the form of rough surf on Friday and then the British Isles on Saturday.

Static Ernesto BI

"After Ernesto unravels it may merge with a non-tropical storm and bring heavy rain and windy conditions to the British Isles this weekend," Kottlowski said.

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Elsewhere in the Atlantic Basin, an abundance of high wind shear continues to stifle tropical development.

Atlantic overview 8.17 AM

Airborne Saharan dust, which has been recorded as far away as Texas this season, is also keeping the atmosphere dry and unfavorable for tropical weather to form in the heart of the basin.

However, another area to watch has evolved over the past couple of days.

"A tropical wave approaching the Windward and Leeward islands currently in a patch of moisture and will be looked at closely for development as it moves into the Caribbean this weekend," said Kottlowski.

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