In this handout photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Tropical Storm Ernesto builds strength as it moves west August 4, 2012 in the in the Caribbean. With maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kmh), Ernesto was 305 miles south/southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is expected to turn to hurricane status. Photo by NOAA via Getty Images
ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) - Tropical Storm Ernesto blew across open waters Saturday on a projected path that would skirt Jamaica and hit Mexico after dumping heavy rain on islands in the eastern Caribbean.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Ernesto was expected to roll south of Jamaica as a hurricane Sunday afternoon. The forecast would carry it into the coastal resorts of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday.
On Friday, Dominica closed its international airport for a second day, while St. Lucia ordered businesses to close for half the day as Ernesto swept through the area. A ferry that travels to Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia also temporarily suspended service.
No damage or flooding was reported on islands affected by the storm.
The hurricane center said Ernesto had maximum sustained winds of about 50 mph Saturday. It was about 590 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and was moving west-northwest at 18 mph.
Meanwhile, a new tropical storm, Florence, formed further out in the Atlantic. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and was about 415 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. The National Hurricane Center said it was not expected to reach hurricane force as it marches generally westward.
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