Ernesto May Become Hector in the Eastern Pacific
This satellite image captured Ernesto early Friday morning.
This article was provided by AccuWeather.com.
The total demise of once-Hurricane Ernesto may not come over Mexico. Ernesto could instead come back to life and assume a new identity in the eastern Pacific this weekend.
Mexico's mountainous terrain has been ripping Ernesto apart since the storm came onshore Thursday afternoon. The once-hurricane is now a tropical rainstorm, which is below tropical depression status.
Ernesto, however, remains capable of unleashing torrential and flooding rainfall.
Once a tropical storm or hurricane weakens to a tropical rainstorm over Mexico or Central America, that typically means an end to its life.
However, Ernesto will be an exception. A piece of Ernesto will actually survive the trip to the eastern Pacific Ocean, where conditions will become ripe for tropical development.
The Pacific Ocean waters west of Manzanillo, Mexico, where what is left of Ernesto will emerge, are more than warm enough to support the formation of a tropical depression or storm.
Wind shear (disruptive winds above the surface that can tear tropical systems apart) will also weaken over this area as the weekend progresses.
The rebirth of Ernesto could take place as soon as this weekend, according to the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center, but a name change would be in order. Ernesto would assume the eastern Pacific name "Hector," if it regains tropical storm status.
The only way Ernesto would keep its original name is if it maintained tropical depression or higher status across Mexico--a rare feat for any tropical system due to the high mountains that call Mexico home.
In the event Ernesto comes back to life and becomes Hector, AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller is concerned it will not follow in the footsteps of Tropical Storm Gilma and pose dangers to only shipping interests.
Miller states that a path into northwestern Mexico next week cannot be ruled out.
Even before Ernesto has an opportunity to regain strength, it will threaten more lives and property by unleashing flooding rain along the southern Mexican coastline from Manzanillo to Acapulco and the neighboring Sierra Madre del Sur this weekend.
Torrential rain will also continue to inundate the Sierra Madre Oriental (the mountains east of Mexico City) through the weekend.
MORE FROM LiveScience.com