National Hurricane Center Official Gives Latest On Tropical Storm Ernesto
It will still be several days before we know if Tropical Storm Ernesto will pose a threat to Louisiana. But that didn't stop the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness from activating its crisis team Friday morning as the storm shows signs of heading into the Gulf of Mexico next week.
Eric Blake, with the National Hurricane Center, says Ernesto will move through the Caribbean this weekend. Blake says "it's expected to be in the northwestern Carribean Sea by Wednesday and maybe after that time it could head into the southern Gulf of Mexico. It's a little early to say that it could affect portions of the central Gulf Coast, that's for sure."
Blake says the official National Hurricane Center forecast has Ernesto developing into a hurricane early next week and later that week possibly entering the Gulf of Mexico as a Category One storm. Blake says:
We think there's going to be a hurricane in the western Carribean on Wednesday and if that's the case its certainly a system to watch. But it's really too early to speculate on any affects to the United States.
Blake says there is a possibility of some good news, though. He says there is enough wind shear to prevent Ernesto from rapidly developing into a hurricane. "But as it moves further into the Carribean, we expect wind shear to become lighter and it'll be over very warm, deep water, which could certainly allow for some more significant identification over the western part of the Carribean," Blake says.