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Ernesto 2012: Hurricane Or Tropical Storm?

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Tropical Storm Ernesto has been picking up speed and slowing down throughout its formative stages. As of 5:00 pm E.T., a hurricane warning is in effect for the entire coast of Belize and the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. This means that "hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explains.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm could hit along the Yucatan coast on Wednesday as strong as a Category 1 storm.

CBS and the AP report that Nicaragua evacuated hundreds from coastal villages. Ernesto is not currently a threat to the United States, according to Weather.com.

hurricane ernesto
This NOAA satellite image taken Sunday, August 05, 2012, at 01:45 PM EDT shows dense cloud cover extending across the eastern third of the nation as an active weather develops ahead of a cold front extending from the Upper Great Lakes into the Southern Plains. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

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