yesterday around 2:15 pm cdt the nws issued a special tropical disturbance statement that an airforce reconnaisance plane reported that the tropical wave moving through the windward islands had developed a closed wind circulation. windspeeds were just below tropical storm strength.
by midnight cdt tropical depression five had formed moving towards the west near 18 mph, "producing showers and gusty winds across portions of the lesser antilles."
by 3pm cdt today td5 is now tropical storm ernesto...
at 4:04 am cdt sunday 27 august 2006 the national hurricane center reported that an "AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATES THAT TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO HAS NOW REACHED HURRICANE STRENGTH...RECENT DROPSONDE AND FLIGHT-LEVEL WIND DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS IN TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO HAVE INCREASED TO 75 MPH. THIS MAKES ERNESTO A CATEGORY 1 HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE."
at 4:00 pm cdt sunday 27 august 2006 ernesto is down graded to a tropical storm due to its weakening over hispanola. a hurricane watch is issued for all of the florida keys.