Tropical Storm Ernesto could become hurricane next week

As of 8 a.m. Friday, the probability for tropical storm wind speeds from Tropical Storm Ernesto predicted over the next five-day period.

NOAA

As of 8 a.m. Friday, the probability for tropical storm wind speeds from Tropical Storm Ernesto predicted over the next five-day period.

The location and projected path of Tropical Storm Ernesto as of 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

NOAA

The location and projected path of Tropical Storm Ernesto as of 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3, 2012.

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Ernesto's current forecast track shows it possibly becoming a hurricane next week as it heads toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Ernesto is dumping heavy rain across the eastern Caribbean as it heads west toward Jamaica and Mexico.

Dominica closed its international airport for a second day on Friday, while St. Lucia ordered businesses to close for half the day. A ferry that travels to Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia also has temporarily suspended service.

No damage or flooding has been reported on islands affected by the storm. Gusts of up to 63 mph were reported in some areas.

The National Hurricane Center said Ernesto is located about 90 miles west of St. Lucia near midday with top sustained winds of 50 mph. The storm is moving at 21 mph and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane by Monday.

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