Hurricane Ernesto made a landfall near Mahahual, Quintana Roo, Mexico at 11:15pmCDT August 6th 2012. The National Hurricane Center claims that the storm was a category one with 85mph winds at the time of landfall, and a central pressure of 980mb. Here is their report below:
...BELIZE RADAR INDICATES ERNESTO HAS MADE LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTHERN YUCATAN COAST... AT 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...DATA FROM THE BELIZE RADAR INDICATE HURRICANE ERNESTO MADE LANDFALL ALONG THE SOUTHERN COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA NEAR MAHAHUAL MEXICO AS A CATEGORY 1 HURRICANE. SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION ----------------------------------------------- LOCATION...18.7N 87.7W ABOUT 0 MI...0 KM E OF MAHAHUAL MEXICO ABOUT 40 MI...65 KM ENE OF CHETUMAL MEXICO MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 15 MPH...24 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...980 MB...28.94 INCHES
I would tend to agree that this information is fairly accurate despite the lack of observations supporting this intensity. A hurricane hunter mission was scheduled to fly into Ernesto just before landfall, but technical/mechanical issues kept the flight on the ground. An automated weather station went through the eye of Ernesto and recorded a minimum pressure of 979.4mb. However the winds didn’t go above tropical storm force – something I find very dubious. Another Personal Weather Station lost power, or was taken down before the height of the storm. The core of Ernesto’s strongest winds didn’t pass over any meteorological stations while the storm was at its peak. Fortunately this means few people experienced the strongest winds, but it also means that we won’t know how strong the storm was for research purposes.
Ernesto weakened throughout the night and the day on the 7th and re-emerged into the extreme southern Bay of Campeche as a Tropical Storm late on the 8th of August. As it re-emerged, Ciudad del Carmen reported sustained winds of 46mph with gusts to 58mph. The storm slowed down dramatically and fluctuated in intensity as it scraped the coastline. It became nearly stationary during the day on the 9th as convection wrapped around its core and convective updrafts kept the storm from moving. Ernesto managed to reach a secondary peak of 70mph before it made another Mexican landfall near Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.
Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the coast between the cities of Veracruz and Chilitepec Mexico this warning is for winds greater than 39mph associated with Ernesto. Torrential, flooding rains spread from the Mexican states of Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, Veracruz, and the country Guatemala as the core and outer bands of Ernesto continue to rotate through the area. Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and East Pacific is streaming into the area and Ernesto is quickly turning into a major flood threat as its circulation gets caught over the mountains of Southern Mexico. The National hurricane Center forecasts that up to 15″ of rain could locally be observed, leading to life threatening flash floods and mudslides in the higher terrain.
Ernesto is expected to either dissipate over the mountains of southern Mexico, or cross into the Eastern Pacific as a remnant low, the former solution is more likely.