JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – At 5p.m, the center of Subtropical Storm Ernesto was located near latitude 43.0 North, longitude 41.0 West. The storm is moving toward the northeast near 18 mph. A faster northeastward motion is expected by later today and should continue through early Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 45 mph with higher gusts. Ernesto has a very limited amount of time to intensify further. The system is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone tonight or early Friday. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 160 miles from the center.
Ernesto will spend the day over marginally warm sea surface temperatures and in a low-shear environment - which will allow Ernesto to maintain current level of intensity. Starting late Thursday, into Friday, the cyclone will be moving over much colder water which should cause it to become post-tropical by the weekend. The post-tropical cyclone is forecast to merge with a frontal zone associated with a larger extratropical cyclone over the North Atlantic in 3 to 4 days.