There's a Battle Royale going on in the atmosphere today and we've got ringside seats! Tropical Storm Ernesto is moving up from the south, bringing with it lots of rain and wind. At the same time the Andre the Giant of high pressure systems is moving southeastward from Quebec. Irresistable Ernesto wants to hug the coast as it moves northward, but when it hits immovable Andre, Ernesto is going to be shuffled off to Buffalo.
What's that mean for us? While Ernesto is no Super Typhoon Ioke, which slammed into Wake Island yesterday with 155mph winds and 50 foot waves (Wake Island's highest elevation is 18 feet. The U.S. Airforce is sending a reconaissance mission to see if the island still exists.), it does promise a lot of rain and wind. There's no doubt that it is going to rain heavily for many hours tonight, and into tomorrow, as Ernesto tries to ride up over the high pressure system. Depending on how quickly Ernesto gets thrown inland we will get anywhere from one to five inches of rain. Two to three inches seems most likely.
The incredibly tight pressure gradient between Ernesto and Andre also means high winds. Umbrellas are going to be pretty useless tonight –if you're walking around much after midnight you're going to get soaked whether you have an umbrella or not. The winds will also push water toward the shore, resulting in flooding, beach erosion and dangerous rip currents tomorrow.
Showers will linger into Sunday. A pleasant Monday, sunny with a high approaching 80, will do its best to redeem the holiday weekend.
Rains from Tropical Storm Ernesto sneaking into the radar picture from the Weather Underground.