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Planet Earth

Ernesto Arrives, Looks Spooky

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyAugust 26, 2006 1:59 AM
ErnestoAugust255pm.jpg

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It's official, we have our fifth storm of the season. The NHC is now projecting that it will reach hurricane strength within days. And here's the part of the forecast that's disturbing:

THE INTENSITY FORECAST.....CALLS FOR SLOW STRENGTHENING FOR THE FIRST 24-36 HR...WITH SOMEWHAT FASTER STRENGTHENING THEREAFTER. THE NEW FORECAST CALLS FOR MORE STRENGTHENING OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO THAN PREVIOUSLY FORECAST DUE TO THE FORECAST UPPER-LEVEL WINDS AT 96 AND 120 HR. ALTHOUGH THE SHIPS AND SUPERENSEMBLE GUIDANCE CALLS FOR LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH AFTER 96 HR...THERE IS A CHANCE THAT ERNESTO COULD BE MUCH STRONGER THAN CURRENTLY FORECAST OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO.

In short, if this one gets into the warm Gulf, we could be in for serious trouble. And that's where the long range track forecast is currently pointing--with large associated uncertainties, of course...

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