EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - Earlier today, hurricane hunters flew into Tropical Depression #5 and found that the system had gained strength and was better organized than the day before. As a result of the higher sustained wind speeds and lower pressure, the system has now been upgraded to Tropical Storm Ernesto, the fifth named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.
Ernesto is located in the western Atlantic, just east of the Lesser Antilles, and is moving in a westerly direction at about 20 mph. This forward motion and general direction is expected to persist over the next three to five days.
He will impact the Windward and Leeward Islands this weekend, before moving into the central Caribbean by early next week. With Tropical Storm Ernesto some 1700 miles east of us, we will have plenty of time to watch his track as he progresses through the Caribbean.
By next Tuesday, Ernesto could strengthen into a category one hurricane and will be somewhere near the Yucatan Channel. It's at that point where he will be a threat to the Gulf and it is also at that time when we should have a better handle on whether or not the Gulf coast will be threatened.
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