Ernesto moves on S. Florida
Tropical Storm Ernesto - a 45 mph storm that was a hurricane for only a short while before running aground on the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba, and which would hardly have been noticed before the last few years of repeated damage and deaths in the U.S. from tropical systems - appeared to be growing in size and moving on South Florida today. More importantly for us, the forecast storm track continues to show the storm tracking north from Florida, back over warm Atlantic waters for potential strengthening, then overland toward western Maryland.
Depending on the path Ernesto finally chooses, we could be in for a very wet Labor Day weekend. Maryland's state and local emergency managers convened today by telephone to be briefed by the weather service on the storm's progress and potential for causing problems here. Another update is planned for tomorrow morning.
Hurricane watches are posted for parts of the southeast coast of Florida and Lake Okeechobee. Tropical storm warnings and watches are posted farther north on both coasts - and as far as Georgia on the Atlantic side.
The storm may not look like much, but there is a chance for isolated tornadoes in Florida, and as much as 15 inches of rain. That's nothing to sneeze at.
Here is the latest advisory. Here is the forecast storm track and map of the warned areas. And here is the view from space. Here is the weather in Key West. And here is AccuWeather's take on what's in store for us.