Are you prepared? Tropical Storm Ernesto is on the way.
Meteorologists warned residents to brace for a two-day slog after Tropical Storm Ernesto washes ashore late today somewhere from the Middle Keys to Broward County, then curves across Lake Okeechobee toward Daytona Beach.The forecasts at the National Hurricane center leave little doubt. South Florida is in for a ride.
Winds will become increasingly gusty before reaching peak intensity late tonight in Palm Beach County and early Wednesday in the Treasure Coast, according to the National Weather Service. They won't completely calm down until sometime Thursday.
Ernesto's top sustained winds strengthened slightly to 45 mph early today as it emerged over the warm waters off Cuba, still well below its Category 1 hurricane strength of 75 mph Sunday, forecasters said. The threshold for a tropical storm is 39 mph.
Hundreds of miles of the state's densely populated Atlantic coast and the Keys were under a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch in Ernesto's path. A tropical storm warning was extended from New Smyrna Beach on Florida's Atlantic side and up to Bonita Beach on the Gulf Coast; a hurricane watch remained in effect along the same stretch of coastline.
Forecasters said a hurricane warning may be posted for portions of South Florida and the Keys later today.
By 5 a.m., the fifth named storm of the hurricane season was centered over open water about 230 miles southeast of Key West and about 235 miles south-southeast of Miami. It was moving northwest near 14 mph.
THE GLOBAL AND REGIONAL MODELS APPEAR TO HAVE STABILIZED NOW COURTESY OF THE NOAA GULFSTREAM-IV JET AIRCRAFT DATA GETTING INTO THE MODELS. THEY ARE IN EXCELLENT AGREEMENT ON ERNESTO MAKING LANDFALL ALONG THE MIDDLE TO UPPER FLORIDA KEYS AND THE SOUTHERN PENINSULA OF FLORIDA IN 18-24 HOURS. THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE CURRENTLY LOCATED OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S. IS FORECAST BY ALL THE MODELS TO SLOWLY ERODE ANDPalm Beach County(TFM's home) is not under an evacuation order. Still if I were in a mobile home or low lying area I would move out. Your own safety is most important right now.
SHIFT EASTWARD AS A VIGOROUS SHORTWAVE TROUGH OVER THE CENTRAL U.S. DIGS EAST-SOUTHEASTWARD. THE MODELS ALSO AGREE THAT ERNESTO SHOULD
RE-EMERGE OVER THE ATLANTIC OFF THE NORTHEASTERN FLORIDA COAST AND MAKE A SECOND LANDFALL IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA-NORTH CAROLINA AREA IN 60-72 HOURS.
We'll do our last preperations this morning. Our shutters need to be secured and some things brought in from the yard. I'd say we're 75% ready. Dear wife will report to work this morning but its uncertain how long the office will stay open.
Other Florida bloggers talking about Ernesto-
Stuck on the Palmetto
Eye of the Storm
Bright & Early
Any other Florida bloggers out there who are posting on Ernesto, link to me and send a trackback(or comment) and I'll link back. Good luck to all of us and God bless.
11 AM Update- Ernesto is sporting 45 MPH winds and is 170 miles southeast of Miami. With winds being felt as far as 140 miles from the storm's center, Florids should be feeling the effects of Ernesto now or very shortly.
I'll update this post as the day goes on.
7 PM Update- We're all secure here in Lantana. Ernesto is not strengthening as some predicted. That looks to be good news for Florida. We may still lose power, but damage may be minimal. Like Lantana had in the aftermath of Hurricane Jeanne.
Linked to- Adam's Blog, Bullwinkle Blog, Planck's Constant,