Tropical Storm Ernesto could become the
first hurricane of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season -- at least
according to what forecasters are predicting at the National
The storm, which
began as a tropical wave near the Windward Islands in the Caribbean
on Aug. 23 and moved up a notch to a tropical depression on Aug.
24, became the season's fifth named storm Aug. 25 as it moved
toward Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, spinning off rain and
thunderstorms as far south as Trinidad.
Rains were predicted
for Puerto Rico and Hispaniola over the weekend.
Forecasters at the
NHC said Ernesto could become a hurricane by morning on Aug. 28,
but would not predict where or when it would make
preparations were underway in both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
where officials urged residents to pay close attention to the
Ernesto has sustained
winds near 40 mph, far short of the hurricane threshold of 74 mph
or higher, but additional strengthening is expected, according to
Storm Debby -- just barely holding onto tropical storm-strength
with winds of 40 mph -- is expected to further weaken over the open
Atlantic, posing only a threat to shipping lanes.
contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].
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