(NEW YORK) — Tropical storm Ernesto is expected to soak Jamaica with three to six inches of rain and winds of 50 mph today as it barrels toward Central America. It is forecast to make landfall there Monday or Tuesday.
The storm has lost some of its circular motion and “organization” but is expected to continue gaining speed today and reach Honduras within 24 hours, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The storm’s westerly track has decreased the likelihood that Ernesto will become the first hurricane of the summer to reach U.S. shores.
The storm is expected to be felt from the Cayman Islands to Aruba today, before it heads toward landfall over Belize or Mexico.
While Ernesto will likely miss the U.S., a new tropical storm, Florence, has formed in the mid-Atlantic and is picking up speed as it heads toward the Caribbean.
Florence, which formed just west of the Cape Verde Islands, has sustained wind gusts of 60 mph and could be upgraded to a hurricane today. It is the sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tiffany Ap, CNN Newswire
Chris Williams and Jason Hanna, CNN