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Hurricane Season 2012: Tropical Storm Ernesto (North Atlantic Ocean)
08.10.12
 
GOES-13 captured an image of four tropical systems marching across the Atlantic Ocean basic on August 10, 2012.› View larger image
NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured an image of four tropical systems marching across the Atlantic Ocean basin on August 10, 2012. From left to right (west to east) is Ernesto over Mexico, the remnants of Florence north of Puerto Rico, Tropical Depression 7 west of the Windward Islands, and System 93L near the Cape Verde Islands and Africa.
Credit: NASA GOES Project
NASA Sees Tropical Cyclones March Across Atlantic: Ernesto, Florence, TD7, System 93L

Four tropical systems are marching across the Atlantic Ocean basin on August 10, 2012. NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. has been busy creating images and animations of the four tropical cyclones, Ernesto, the remnants of Florence, Tropical Depression 7, and System 93L.

NASA's GOES Project uses data from NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), and the GOES-13 satellite covers the Atlantic Ocean basin and the eastern U.S. from a fixed orbit. GOES-13 provides continuous data that NASA makes into images and animations. An image captured on August 10, 2012 at 1145 UTC (7:45 a.m. EDT) shows the four tropical cyclones marching across the Atlantic Ocean basin.


Tropical Depression Ernesto Dropping Heavy Rainfall Over Mexico's Mountains

At 10 a.m. EDT on August 10, the National Hurricane Center noted that Ernesto's center was near 18.0 North and 99.2 West. That places Ernesto's center about 215 miles (345 km) west-southwest of Veracruz, Mexico. Ernesto is now a remnant low pressure area and continues to weaken over the mountains of Mexico as it moves toward the eastern Pacific Ocean. As Ernesto continues on its westward track at 15 mph (24 kmh), it is generating heavy rainfall. Ernesto's maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph (55 kmh) and weakening.

The GOES-13 satellite image reveals the clouds associated with Ernesto over south-central Mexico, and just to the west of Ernesto lies another low pressure area off the coast in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The National Hurricane Center expects heavy rainfall over the next day or two over the Mexican states of Tabasco, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca and Guerrero, which could cause life threatening flash floods and mudslides. Ernesto's remnant circulation could regenerate in the Eastern Pacific Ocean after the weekend.

Ernesto's remnants are expected to move into the Eastern Pacific and possibly become a tropical cyclone again. If that happened it will acquire a new depression number or a new name if it becomes a tropical storm.


The Remnants of Florence Linger Near Puerto Rico

The remnants of Tropical Storm Florence is located several hundred miles north of Puerto Rico, near 23 North latitude and 67 West longitude. The remnants are generating showers and thunderstorms. Those showers and thunderstorms appear as a small, disorganized area of clouds on the GOES-13 satellite image.

The NHC gives this a near zero chance of redevelopment as it moves to the northwest. Radar in Puerto Rico during the morning of August 10 detected a line of showers associated with the remnants of tropical storm Florence just east of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


Tropical Depression 7 Trying to Slowly Organize

Tropical Depression 7 is struggling to organize on August 10, but conditions may improve over the weekend of August 11-12.

Satellite data on August 10 shows a well-defined circulation with a small band of thunderstorms and convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) to the northeast of the center, but the circulation of the depression is not apparent on the GOES-13 imagery.

Currently dry air surrounding the storm seems to be inhibiting further development. Further development may also be prevented because of increasing southerly to southwesterly shear over the next couple of days.

At 5 a.m. EDT Tropical Depression 7's (TD7) maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph (55 kmh). The center of TD7 was located near latitude 13.6 north and longitude 49.5 west, about 775 miles (1,245 km) east of the Windward Islands. TD7 is moving toward the west near 23 mph (37 kmh).

The National Hurricane Center expects TD7 to intensify and organize into a tropical storm while moving into an area of light wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures. It is then forecast to move across the Windward Islands over the weekend on its way into the Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center noted "Interests in the windward and leeward islands should monitor the progress of the depression since tropical storm watches or warnings could be required at any time."


System 93L Organizing in Far Eastern Atlantic

The fourth area for possible development in the Atlantic is a tropical wave and associated low pressure area, called "System 93L" that has just moved off the African coast into the eastern Atlantic. It's located between the Cape Verde Islands and Africa and is generating a small area of showers and thunderstorms and appears as a rounded area on the GOES-13 satellite imagery.

It is moving to the west-northwest near 20 mph, and may bring strong, gusty winds to the Cape Verde Islands over the next day or two. Because environmental conditions are favorable for development: low wind shear and warm waters over 80 Fahrenheit (26.6 Celsius), the National Hurricane Center gives System 93L a 50 percent chance of organizing into a tropical depression over the weekend of August 11-12, 2012.

Over the weekend of August 11 and 12, forecasters will have a lot to keep track of with the fading Ernesto and Florence and the developing Tropical Depression 7 and System 93L.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



GOES-13 Satellite Sees Three Atlantic Tropical Cyclones



An animation of satellite observations shows the progression of Tropical Storm Ernesto (far left), post-tropical storm Florence (center) and Tropical Depression 7 from August 7-10, 2012. In the animation, Ernesto made landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula and mainland Mexico, while Florence moves across the Atlantic to just north of Puerto Rico. Tropical Depression 7 becomes visible on August 9 (bottom right). This visualization was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., using observations from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite. For more information, go to: www.nasa.gov/hurricane. TRT 0:36 Super(s): Courtesy: NASA/NOAA GOES Project



Aug. 9, 2012

NASA's TRMM satellite saw tropical storm Ernesto on August 9, 2012 at 0656 UTC. This 3-D view of Ernesto's vertical structures shows some powerful convective storms near Ernesto's center were pushing to heights of over 16 kilometers (~9.94 miles).› View larger image
NASA's TRMM satellite saw tropical storm Ernesto on August 9, 2012 at 0656 UTC. This 3-D view of Ernesto's vertical structures shows some powerful convective storms near Ernesto's center were pushing to heights of over 16 kilometers (~9.94 miles).
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
NASA's TRMM satellite saw tropical storm Ernesto on August 9, 2012 at 0656 UTC (2:36 a.m. EDT) after it moved from the Yucatan Peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico. Powerful convective thunderstorms were dropping rain at a rate greater than 50mm per hour (~2 inches) north of the storm's center.› View larger image
NASA's TRMM satellite saw tropical storm Ernesto on August 9, 2012 at 0656 UTC (2:36 a.m. EDT) after it moved from the Yucatan Peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico. Powerful convective thunderstorms were dropping rain at a rate greater than 50mm per hour (~2 inches) north of the storm's center.
Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
NASA Sees Very Heavy Rainfall Within Tropical Storm Ernesto

NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite, known as TRMM can measure the rate rain is falling with a tropical cyclone from its orbit in space, and data from August 9 reveals areas of heavy rainfall in Tropical Storm Ernesto as it heads for a second landfall in Mexico.

The TRMM satellite saw tropical storm Ernesto on August 9, 2012 at 0656 UTC (2:36 a.m. EDT) after it moved from the Yucatan Peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico. An analysis of TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) rainfall shows that powerful convective thunderstorms were dropping rain at a rate greater than 50mm per hour (~2 inches) north of the storm's center.

TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR) data were used to create a 3-D view of Ernesto's vertical structure. The PR view shows that a few of the powerful convective storms near Ernesto's center were pushing to heights of over 16 kilometers (~9.94 miles). The energy released by these storms near Ernesto's center can be a sign of intensification.

At 10 a.m. EDT on August 9, the National Hurricane Center noted that Ernesto's center was located very close to the coast, or already on land, near 18.2 North and 94.3 West. Ernesto's maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 kmh) with higher gusts, but as Ernesto moves inland it is expected to weaken. Ernesto is moving west near 10 mph (17 kmh) and will move over southern Mexico over the next two days.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Veracruz to Chilitepec today, August 9. The National Hurricane Center expects the heavy rainfall that NASA's TRMM satellite identified to bring between five to 10 inches of rain, locally up to 15 inches, over the Mexican states of Tabasco, Veracruz, Puebla and Oaxaca. Flash floods and mudslides are a concern with these large amounts of rainfall. In addition another one to two inches of rain are possible over northern Guatemala and the southwestern Yucatan Peninsula.

A visible image of Tropical Storm Ernesto was captured from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite, on August 8, when it was over the Yucatan Peninsula, and before it emerged into the Gulf of Mexico. To see that image, visit: http://tinyurl.com/9cuufa7

Text Credit: Hal Pierce / Rob Gutro
SSAI / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Aug. 8, 2012

NASA's TRMM satellite had a good look at Tropical Storm Ernesto on August 7, 11:22 a.m. EDT, less than three hours before it was upgraded to a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center. Light to moderate rainfall is seen in the yellow, green and blue areas, where rain was falling between 20 and 40› View larger image
NASA's TRMM satellite had a good look at Tropical Storm Ernesto on August 7, 11:22 a.m. EDT, less than three hours before it was upgraded to a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center. Light to moderate rainfall is seen in the yellow, green and blue areas, where rain was falling between 20 and 40 millimeters (.78 to 1.57 inches) per hour. Heavy rainfall (falling at 2 inches/50 mm per hour) appears in red.
Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Ernesto on August 8 at 3:29 a.m. EDT. The AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of the cloud temperatures that showed the strongest storms (purple) and heaviest rainfall were wrapped around the storm's center and in a band of thunderstorms extend› View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Ernesto on August 8 at 3:29 a.m. EDT. The AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of the cloud temperatures that showed the strongest storms (purple) and heaviest rainfall were wrapped around the storm's center and in a band of thunderstorms extending to the southeast of the center.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees Heavy Rainfall and High Thunderstorms in Tropical Storm Ernesto

NASA's TRMM satellite has been measuring the heavy rainfall in Ernesto, and some of the rainfall totals may reach one foot in Central America. NASA's Aqua satellite spotted a large area of the strong thunderstorms generating that heavy rainfall, wrapped around the storm's center. Ernesto made landfall in the Yucatan and is currently tracking west over land.

At 11:15 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 7, Belize radar indicated Ernesto made landfall along the southern Yucatan coast near Mahahual, Mexico as a category one hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 85 mph (140 kmh).

The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite had a good look at Tropical Storm Ernesto on August 7, 2012 at 1522 UTC (11:22 a.m. EDT), less than three hours before it was upgraded to a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The NHC reported that Hurricane hunter aircraft found Ernesto's maximum winds had increased to 81 mph (70 knots). A rainfall analysis from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) instruments showed that bands of rainfall in Ernesto, mostly located in the southeastern quadrant of the storm, contained several moderate to heavy convective storms.

Ernesto is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches over Belize, northern Guatemala, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Mexican States of Tabasco and Veracruz.

For a look at Ernesto on August 7 at 12:15 p.m. EDT from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument onboard NASA's Terra satellite, visit: http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/imagery/single.cgi?image=Ernesto.A2012220.1615.2km.jpg.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Ernesto on August 8 at 3:29 a.m. EDT. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of the cloud temperatures that showed the strongest storms and heaviest rainfall were wrapped around the storm's center and in a band of thunderstorms extending to the southeast of the center. Those cloud top temperatures were as cold as -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius).

At 10 a.m. EDT on August 8, Ernesto's maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph (85 kmh) and it was 265 miles (425 km) east of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, near 18.7 North and 90.4 West. The National Hurricane Center expects Ernesto's center to emerge into the extreme southern Bay Of Campeche tonight where it is expected to re-strengthen. Still Watching Two Other Atlantic Areas

In addition to Ernesto, there are still two other areas in the Atlantic Ocean Basin under watch. The first is a low pressure area associated with a tropical wave, that is located in the eastern Atlantic. It is about 700 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands and has a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next two days, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The second area is that of Florence's remains, located about 450 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands. The remnants are still producing thunderstorms and showers, although it remains disorganized. The National Hurricane Center gives that low pressure area a "near zero" chance of becoming a tropical depression over the next couple of days.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Aug. 7, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto was captured by MODIS on August 6, 2012 at 1840 UTC (2:40 p.m. EDT).› View larger image
This visible image of Tropical Storm Ernesto approaching Central America was captured by the MODIS instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite on August 6, 2012 at 1840 UTC (2:40 p.m. EDT). The strongest storms appear to be on the northern and eastern sides of the storm.
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Tropical Storm Ernesto on August 7, 2012 as it was approaching Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.› View larger image
This visible image of Tropical Storm Ernesto was captured from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite on August 7, 2012 at 1425 UTC (10:25 a.m. EDT) as it was approaching Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Although Ernesto does not yet have a visible eye on satellite imagery, it is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before landfall.
Credit: NASA GOES Project
NASA Satellites Revealed Tropical Storm Ernesto's Strongest Side

Satellite data helps forecasters see where the strongest part of a tropical cyclone is located, and NASA's Aqua satellite noticed Ernesto's strongest storms were on the eastern side yesterday. Today, strong storms surround Ernesto's center.

A visible image of Tropical Storm Ernesto approaching Central America was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies onboard NASA's Aqua satellite. In an image captured on August 6, 2012 at 1840 UTC (2:40 p.m. EDT), the strongest thunderstorms appeared to be on the northern and eastern sides of the storm. The area of strongest storms has expanded during the morning hours of August 7 and wrapped around the center of circulation as was visible in imagery captured by the GOES-13 satellite.

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured an image of Ernesto's clouds on August 7, 2012 at 1425 UTC (10:25 a.m. EDT) as it was approaching Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Although Ernesto does not yet have a visible eye on satellite imagery, it is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before landfall. The GOES-13 image did show more uniformity in the strength of thunderstorms that entirely surround Ernesto's center.

On August 7, warnings and watches are in effect in Central America as Ernesto approaches. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Chetumal to Punta Allen on the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula the entire coast of Belize.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast of Honduras from the Honduras/Nicaragua Border westward to Punta Sal, including the Bay Islands. The Warning is also in effect from north of Punta Allen to Cancun on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The warning also extends to the Yucatan's west coast, from Celestun southward to Chilitepec along the west coast of the Yucatan.

The National Hurricane Center warned that Ernesto is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches along the northern coast of honduras...with isolated amounts as high as 8 inches over mountainous terrain. Belize, the Yucatan Peninsula and northern Guatemala can expect between 4 and 8 inches with as much as a foot of rain in isolated areas, so flooding is expected and mudslides are possible.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the coast of Honduras from west of Punta Sal to the Honduras/Guatemala border.

At 8 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Ernesto's maximum sustained winds were near 65 mph (100 kmh) with higher gusts. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Ernesto to strengthen into a hurricane before it makes landfall. The center of Tropical Storm Ernesto was located near latitude 17.8 north and longitude 84.4 west, about 250 miles (405 km) east of Belize City, Belize and about 180 miles (285 km) northeast of the island of Roatan, Honduras, where cruise ships are known to stop.

According to USA Today on-line, the Carnival Legend cruise ship is skipping stops near Belize and Honduras because of the tropical storm.

Ernesto is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph (20 kmh). The NHC expects Ernesto to keep moving to the west-northwest tonight and turn west on Wednesday, August 8, moving across the Yucatan Peninsula tonight and early Wednesday where it will emerge over the Bay of Campeche.

Watching Other Atlantic Lows

Meanwhile in the Atlantic Ocean, there are two other areas of low pressure that bear watching. One is a tropical wave located several hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The center is elongated, and the low is generating showers and thunderstorms. The NHC gives it a 20 percent chance for becoming a tropical depression in the next two days.

The second area was once Tropical Storm Florence and is now a remnant low pressure area. Showers have increased, but the atmospheric conditions are not conducive to strengthening. The remnants of post-tropical storm Florence are located about 1,000 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands and the NHC gives it just a 10 percent chance of reforming.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Ernesto Approaching Belize, Mexico



An animation of satellite observations shows the progression of Tropical Storm Ernesto from August 5-7, 2012. The animation shows Ernesto's progression through the Caribbean Sea and ends as it nears Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. This visualization was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., using observations from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite. TRT 1:21 Super(s): Courtesy: NASA/NOAA GOES Project Center Contact: Rob Gutro (443) 858-1779 HQ Contact: Steve Cole (202) 358-0918 For more information: www.nasa.gov/hurricane.



Aug. 6, 2012

This visible image of Tropical Storm Ernesto was captured by NOAA's GOES-13 satellite on August 6 at 11:45 a.m. EDT.› View larger image
This visible image of Tropical Storm Ernesto was captured by NOAA's GOES-13 satellite on August 6 at 11:45 a.m. EDT. Ernesto was located south of central Cuba at that time.
Credit: NASA GOES Project AIRS captured an infrared image of the eastern half of Ernesto where cloud temperatures exceeded -63 Fahrenheit› View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Ernesto on August 5 at 1753 UTC (1:53 p.m. EDT). The AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of the eastern half of the storm where cloud temperatures exceeded -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius) indicating strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall (purple).
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees a Strengthening Tropical Storm Ernesto

Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to track through the Caribbean and satellite data and NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft revealed a strengthening storm mid-day on Monday, August 6. NASA infrared data revealed strong thunderstorms on August 5 that indicated a strengthening storm, and the GOES-13 satellite showed a well-organized tropical storm 24 hours later.

NOAA's Hurricane hunter aircraft investigated Tropical Storm Ernesto on the morning of August 6 and found deep convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone) and that the center was actually located northeast of where previously thought.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Ernesto on August 5 at 1753 UTC (1:53 p.m. EDT) when the storm's maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph (85 kmh). The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of the eastern half of the storm where cloud temperatures exceeded -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius) indicating strong thunderstorms with heavy rainfall. Ernesto continued to strengthen after Aqua passed by.

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite has been continuously providing imagery of Ernesto. A visible image of Tropical Storm Ernesto from GOES-13 on August 6 at 11:45 a.m. EDT showed an organized, rounded storm with strong convection (rising air that forms the thunderstorms that make up a tropical cyclone).

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) Tropical Storm Ernesto's maximum sustained winds were near 65 mph (100 kmh). The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Ernesto to strengthen into a hurricane later in the day. The center was only 190 miles (205 km) east-northeast of Cabo Gracias A Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border, near latitude 15.8 north and longitude 80.5 west. Ernesto is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 kmh) and that general motion is expected to continue for the next two days. Because Ernesto has continued moving west, the Cayman Islands discontinued their tropical storm watch for Grand Cayman. The NHC noted that "Ernesto's center will be passing north of the coast of Honduras tonight and Tuesday and approach the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula early Wednesday."

The NHC summarized the watches and warnings in effect today, August 6, 2012: The government of Mexico has issued a hurricane warning for the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula from Chetumal northward to Punta Allen and has issued a tropical storm warning from north of Punta Allen to Tulum. The government of Mexico has also issued a Tropical Storm Watch from north of Tulum to Chetumal. In Belize, there's a hurricane watch for the entire coast.

Ernesto is expected to strengthen to hurricane status by the end of the day on Monday, August 6.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Satellite Sees Tropical Storm Ernesto Moving Through Caribbean Sea



An animation of satellite observations shows the progression of Tropical Storm Ernesto from August 4-6, 2012. The animation begins when Ernesto was south of Jamaica and ends when the storm is south of Cuba. This visualization was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., using observations from NOAA's GOES-13 satellite. For storm details: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2012/h2012_Ernesto.html. TRT 1:14 Super(s): Courtesy: NASA/NOAA GOES Project Center Contact: Rob Gutro (443) 858-1779 HQ Contact: Steve Cole (202) 358-0918 For more information: www.nasa.gov/hurricane



Aug. 3, 2012

On August 2 at 10:20 a.m. MODIS captured this stunning visible image of Tropical Storm approaching the Lesser Antilles› View larger image
On August 2 at 10:20 a.m. NASA's Terra satellite captured this stunning visible image of Tropical Storm approaching the Lesser Antilles. The image showed the highest, strongest thunderstorms on the eastern side of the storm from north to south.
Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
Tropical Storm Ernesto Was an Unwelcome Visitor in St. Lucia

The fifth Atlantic Ocean tropical depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Ernesto on Thursday, August 2 at 5 p.m. EDT and tracked over St. Lucia early on August 3. NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Ernesto from space as it approached the island.

On August 2, 2012 at 1420 UTC (10:20 a.m. EDT) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)instrument onboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a stunning visible image of Tropical Storm Ernesto as it was approaching the Lesser Antilles. The image showed the highest, strongest thunderstorms from the northern to the eastern and southern quadrants of the storm. Some thunderstorms were so high in the troposphere that they were casting shadows on the lower surrounding thunderstorm cloud tops.

On August 3 at 8 a.m. EDT, Ernesto's maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph (75 kmh). The National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported a wind gust in Saint Lucia during the morning of August 3. During the 7 a.m. EDT hour, Ernesto's center moved over or near Saint Lucia, according to the NHC. By 8 a.m. EDT, Ernesto had moved 40 miles (65 km) away from Saint Lucia, to the west-southwest. Ernesto was near 13.5 North and 61.5 West, and speeding to the west at 24 mph (39 kmh).

As a result of Ernesto's speeding, the government of Trinidad has discontinued the tropical storm watch for Grenada and its dependencies. However, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

The NHC expects Ernesto to continue speeding westward through the eastern Caribbean Sea near the same rate of speed over the next day or two.

For a high resolution MODIS image of Ernesto, visit: http://lance-modis.eosdis.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/imagery/single.cgi?image=Ernesto.A2012215.1420.1km.jpg.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



GOES-13 satellite captured an image of the tropical Atlantic Ocean on August 3 at 7:45 a.m. EDT with three tropical systems.

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured an image of the tropical Atlantic Ocean on August 3 at 7:45 a.m. EDT with three tropical systems. The visible image shows Tropical Storm Ernesto in the eastern Caribbean Sea, a low pressure area (Low 1) near Florida's southeastern coast with a 10% chance of development, and a low pressure area in the eastern Atlantic (Low 2), about 175 miles south of the Cape Verde Islands that has a 30% chance of development over the weekend. The image was created by NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. For more updates on Ernesto, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2012/h2012_Ernesto.html. Credit: NASA GOES Project



Aug. 2, 2012

NASA's Aqua satellite captured a look at Tropical Depression 5's cloud top temperatures on August 2, 2012.› View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite captured a look at Tropical Depression 5's cloud top temperatures on August 2, 2012 at 12:53 a.m. EDT. Just a small area of coldest cloud top temperatures (purple) were as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius), indicating strong thunderstorms with the potential for heavy rainfall. The circulation center is not clear in this image.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees Fifth Atlantic Tropical Depression Form After a Month

NASA infrared satellite imagery provided insight into newborn Tropical Depression Five, that comes over a month after the last Atlantic tropical cyclone. Tropical Storm Debby was the last Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclone to form this season and she met her end on June 28 in the northern Atlantic.

When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over newborn Tropical Depression Five, it captured temperature data from its cloud tops, using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies onboard. In an image captured on August 2, 2012 at 12:53 a.m. EDT, just a small area of coldest cloud top temperatures were as cold as or colder than -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius), indicating strong thunderstorms with the potential for heavy rainfall. The circulation center, however, was not clear.

On August 2, 2012 at 11 a.m. EDT, Tropical Depression Five's (TD5) maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph (55 kmh). TD5 is located about 450 miles (725 km) east of the Windward Islands, near 13.0 North and 54.3 West and moving west at 20 mph (32 kmh). The low pressure area designated as "System 99L" strengthened into Tropical Depression 5 on August 1, 2012 at 5 p.m. EDT.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) expect "little change in strength likely for the next day or so, but some strengthening is expected thereafter." NHC forecasters expect it to continue moving to the west-northwest and into the Caribbean Sea, while staying south of Puerto Rico. The NHC also expects atmospheric conditions to improve, allowing the depression to become a tropical storm. If TD5 does get a name it would become "Ernesto."

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



Aug. 1, 2012

AIRS captured an infrared image System 99L and showed that there was a small area of strong, high, cold cloud tops of thunderstorms› View larger image
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over System 99L on August 1 at 0405 UTC (12:05 a.m. EDT) and the AIRS instrument captured an infrared image of the storm. It showed that there was a small area of strong, high, cold cloud tops of thunderstorms (purple) around the center of circulation, indicating some strength in the low pressure area.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Satellite Sees Strength in Developing Atlantic Tropical Low

NASA's Aqua satellite spotted some very cold, high, thunderstorms around the center of a tropical low pressure area in the Atlantic Ocean today, indicating that the system is getting stronger and more organized.

The low pressure area, designated as "System 99L" was located about 850 miles east of the southern Windward Islands, near 10.7 North latitude and 46.9 West longitude. It was moving west between 15 and 20 mph.

NASA's Aqua satellite passed over System 99L on August 1 at 0405 UTC (12:05 a.m. EDT) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument captured an infrared image of the storm. It showed that there was a small area of strong, high, cold cloud tops of thunderstorms around the center of circulation, indicating some strength in the low pressure area. Infrared imagery shows temperature and the higher the cloud tops, the colder they are as they reach higher in the troposphere (lowest atmospheric layer). When cloud top temperatures are very cold, it's an indication of strong uplift in the atmosphere. The cloud top temperatures around the center of this low were near -63 Fahrenheit (-52 Celsius), and indicated powerful uplift and high cloud tops.

The National Hurricane Center noted that "environmental conditions are conducive for gradual development," and gives the storm a 70% chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next two days. Residents in the Windward Islands should monitor the progress of System 99L.

If System 99L develops into a tropical storm, it would be named "Ernesto." The last tropical storm to form in the Atlantic Ocean this hurricane season was Debby, and she dissipated over a month ago, on June 28.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.