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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tropical Storm Ernesto regains its punch in the Gulf

(CNN) -- Tropical Storm Ernesto hugged the southern edge of the Bay of Campeche Thursday morning as it prepared to make final landfall on the Mexican coast, the National Hurricane Center said.

Once Ernesto makes landfall -- forecast for Thursday -- the the storm is expected to continue its western direction, cutting a path across southern Mexico like a belt at the country's waist.

The storm is expected to weaken once it hits land near Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, but hurricane conditions were still possible in some areas of Mexico Thursday morning, the center said.

As of 8 a.m. ET, the storm was about 40 miles (65 km) northeast of Coatzacoalcos, the hurricane center reported. Ernesto was moving west at 13 mph, packing maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

The tropical storm will decrease in speed as it moves across Mexico in the next day or two, the center said.

A hurricane warning remained in place along the coast from Veracruz to Chilitepec in the extreme southwest Gulf of Mexico. Read More