Tropical Depression #5 formed today, and nearly all of the models agree on this becoming Tropical Storm Ernesto and entering the Gulf of Mexico over the next 5 days.
Early indications are that this storm will enter the Gulf of Mexico, possibly weaken then re-intensify once in the Gulf. There is some significant shear to the north of the storm, but it is expect to move west ahead of the storm, possibly reducing any impact.
All areas in the Gulf of Mexico should monitor this storm carefully. Early estimates (guesses in fact) would put this storm making final landfall somewhere between north Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. There is an outside chance that the storm could recurve north and pose a threat to the Mississippi/Alabama coastal areas, or with a hard turn east, the Florida Panhandle. Now I know how that sounds, “so the storm could hit anywhere from Mexico to Florida…” Texas being the likely candidate right now, but the following line is very true:
At this point, it is much too soon to make landfall predictions.
There is also a good chance that the storm could beat itself to death over eastern Cuba which is a very mountainous terrain, or dip further south and crash into the Yukitan Peninsula before emerging into the gulf.
The next NHC advisory is at 11pm EDT, and barring a special advisory prior to that time, I’ll update this blog later tonight or Friday morning.
Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Debby is chugging along and is forecast to become Hurricane Debby in the next couple of days. Debby only poses a threat to shipping lanes and will eventually spin out in the north/central Atlantic.