Today’s news: Ernesto, Curiosity’s first color photo, and severe weather by week’s end

Good evening everyone,

Last night’s post was kind of huge, so I’m just going to run through some of the major weather news right now. Once again, please e-mail with with any questions regarding any topic I cover here.


If you were following the twitter feed (@wildcardweather) today you saw that Ernesto grew to hurricane strength this afternoon. It should just be making landfall now over the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico with sustained winds as high as 85 mph (Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale). As we touched on yesterday, it should weaken considerably over the Yucatan. Following a track that curves to the left; Ernesto should survive the crossing, emerging back in the gulf at tropical storm strength. Once over the warm waters of the Bay of Campeche, (in the Gulf of Mexico) the storm is forecast to restrengthen to a hurricane again before making landfall east of Mexico City. This is where the storm should finally weaken and dissipate.

Hopefully we’ll have good good photos from the landfall tomorrow.

Here’s the NHC forecast discussion (10pm tonight)

Satellite image of Ernesto from earlier this evening. The storm is well-balanced with impressive bands of convection and what could be a small eye.

And the forecast track.

Remember, H is for hurricane, S is for tropical storm, and D is tropical depression.


Curiosity sends back a color photo

This picture of the Martian landing site of NASA’s Curiosity rover puts a color view obtained by the rover in the context of a computer simulation derived from images acquired from orbiting spacecraft. The view looks north, showing a distant ridge that is the north wall and rim of Gale Crater. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS (from

This color image was taken by Curiosity’s MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager) camera last night. The black and white portion around it is created by computer model to give the MAHLI image context. A full explanation of the process is available here from

Right now the guys and gals over at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab are going to take a few weeks to make sure the rover made it though the journey and landing intact. As of right now I haven’t seen any weather reports made by Curiosity, but I’ll be sure to include them in future posts as I come across them.

I found another great article on Martian weather by the Capital Weather Gang,  a great weather blog on The Washington Post’s website. I follow it on Twitter, and so should you!

Severe Weather Expected Later this Week

It’s still a few days out but I’d like to mention it. Conditions are coming into place for some severe weather later this week, across the northeast, Ohio River valley, and upper Mississippi valley Thursday and the mid-Atlantic Friday. More information to come tomorrow.
See you tomorrow,



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