Ernesto the fifth named storm of the current hurricane season churned its way through open water on Saturday. The tropical storm is on a direct path to cross over Jamaica and head to Mexico. The storm took its toll on islands in the eastern part of the Caribbean by dumping large amount of rain mixed with tropical force winds.
The National Weather Service in the U.S. says Ernesto will potentially become a Category 1 hurricane Sunday night or sometime in the morning on Monday. Ernesto was approximately 305 miles south of San Juan, Puerto Rico and 690 miles east of the Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. Its speed on Saturday afternoon was 18 mph.
The storm is expected to reach Jamaica by Sunday and then might enter the Gulf of Mexico, but it was still very early to determine its exact track. It is believed that the hurricane could strike the northern end of the Yucatan Peninsula where Cancun and the island of Cozumel are located.
On Friday, the island of Dominica had to close its international airport for the second consecutive day. St. Lucia ordered all the island’s businesses to close for part of the day as the storm swept quickly through the area. A ferry service between the islands of St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe had to suspend service as well on Friday.
None of the islands have reported any significant damage from rain or winds as of yet. However, there were gust of winds felt on the island of more than 60 mph throughout the day on Friday.