Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Hurricane Ernesto moves inland over Yucatan

Ernesto briefly reached hurricane status on Tuesday before moving inland on the Yucatan Peninsula in the pre-dawn hours today near Mahuahal. The resort community had been evacuated as the storm came onshore with 140km/h (90mph) winds and driving rain. The system has since weakened back to a tropical storm with only reports of minor damage so far. Ernesto will emerge into the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico (Bay of Campeche) by this afternoon and may reach hurricane status once again before a second Mexican landfall near Veracruz on Thursday. Ernesto is currently about 55 miles west northwest of Chetumal with 110km/h (70mph) winds. The main threat today will be from flooding as 8-12 inches of rain are forecast from the Yucatan south into Belize. Hurricane Warnings have been issued for the Mexican Coast as well as northern Belize. Hurricane forecasters are watching two other areas of interest in the open waters of the Atlantic for further development this week.

The weather back home in Montreal remains warm and humid with highs near 29C today. There is a risk of an isolated shower or thunderstorm by afternoon as a weak cold front moves in from Ontario. The balance of the week looks very unsettled with the increasing likelihood of a general, much needed rain.

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