Could Become Hurricane Monday
Tropical Storm Ernesto hit parts of the Windward Islands on Friday morning, bringing rain and occasionally robust gusts as forecasters predicted it could become a hurricane in the central Caribbean Sea by the end of the weekend.
Since yesterday, its intensity has remained steady, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. Its current positions is about 90 miles west of St. Lucia and its moving almost due west at 21 mph. As the center crossed St. Lucia, sustained winds reached 41 mph with a gust measured at 63 mph.
The storm’s center passed over or nearly over St. Lucia in the eastern Caribbean and was about 90 miles west of the island shortly before 11 a.m. ET, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Ernesto – with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and faster gusts – was moving west at about 21 mph.
You can track Ernesto’s path towards the Gulf of Mexico and get life saving preparation info at KTRH.com Keyword: OPERATION STORMWATCH.
The storm is expected to bring 2 to 3 inches of rain – with isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches – to the Windward Islands, which include St. Lucia, through Friday, according to the center.
Ernesto is forecast to move west through the eastern Caribbean before turning on a more west-northwest track Saturday night. It is expected to strengthen and possibly become a category 1 hurricane – with maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph – late this weekend.