We Floridians started paying attention to Tropical Storm Ernesto several days ago. In was forming up southeast of Puerto Rico. The early forecast tracks had the storm staying south of the islands, and gaining strength. Then it would have crossed Cuba and gone out into the Gulf headed tot he northwest…a beeline for the Louisiana coast.
The track would up being slightly more north, which has caused it to interact with Hispanolia throughout the day today, thus weakening the hurricane back to tropical storm strength.? However, it will most likely regain it’s hurricane status overnight as it gets back over warmer water heading to Cuba.
The first official track this morning had the center line of the storm going right up the mouth of Tampa Bay, and being over Tampa at 8am Thursday morning, as the track has moved increasingly back to the east. The track now has the storm traveling over a good bit of Cuba, which will again weaken the storm. It now turns northward sooner resulting in a currently projected landfall south of us Wednesday afternoon. Should this wind up being the actual track (and it will change a lot more over the next couple of days), the storm will pass by us somewhere between us and Orlando Wednesday night to Thursday morning. Should be over land for that long, it should not pose a huge threat to us.
The worst side of a hurricane is the northeast corner. That generally has the highest winds and most rain. The current track would put us on the west side of the storm after it’s been over land a while. As noted though, the track will change a lot.
I started with some preparations today. We had some inflatables in the pool that Lay’s nephew’s play with. I deflated those and got them put up. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, so the water level in the pool we very high. I started lowering that. Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll get my gas cans refilled for the generator, and I need to find a siphon somewhere. I also need to get my two empty water bottles re-filled, along with taking care of Lay’s mother’s bottles. I’ll do that tomorrow evening.
I was talking with our friend Jeff today, and we might make a reservation at an Orlando hotel in case there is a need to evacuate. We can always cancel it if needed. We will wait until tomorrow, and see how the track is shaping up. That will also determine how much further I go with preparations.