Tropical Storm Ernesto (05L) Near Coast of South America14.1N 66.3W
On July 27, a well-defined tropical wave emerged off the coastline of Africa.
The NHC first monitored this tropical wave in its tropical weather outlook on July 30, noting that the system had an accompanying low pressure area and was showing signs of development. The convection slowly organized due to generally favorable environmental conditions.
After the circulation became better defined, the NHC initiated advisories on Tropical Depression Five at 2100 UTC on August 1. At the time, the depression was located about 810 mi (1305 km) east of the Lesser Antilles, moving west-northwestward due to a cold-core low to its north.
In the 12 hours after its formation, the system’s convection became disorganized due to westerly wind shear, and the NHC remarked the potential for degeneration into a tropical wave. However, a Hurricane Hunters flight on August 2 observed tropical storm force winds, and accordingly the NHC upgraded the depression to Tropical Storm Ernesto at 2100 UTC. The next day, the storm moved over or very near Saint Lucia, and a station on the island reported a wind gust of 63 mph (101 km/h).
As of 5 p.m. AST (2100 UTC) August 3, Tropical Storm Ernesto is located within 20 nautical miles of 13.9°N 64.1°W, about 210 mi (335 km) west of St. Lucia; about 340 mi (545 km) south-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Maximum sustained winds are 45 knots (50 mph, 85 km/h), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 1002 mbar (hPa; 29.59 InHg), and the system is moving west at 18 kt (21 mph, 33 km/h). Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center of Ernesto.