Ernesto became much better organized this afternoon (Figure 1), allowing wind speeds to increase to 60 kts (70 mph). As of now, Ernesto is about 120 miles south of Wilmington, NC. Not much has changed in the forecast over the last 48 hours. Ernesto is still forecast to come ashore near the North Carolina-South Carolina border as a strong tropical storm/weak hurricane (Figure 2). The biggest threat from Ernesto appears to be heavy rains, which could produce rainfall amounts higher than 10 inches in some places. Once Ernesto makes landfall, it is forecast to move to the northwest and merge with an apporaching frontal system. This will create large amounts of rainfall in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic over the weekend. Stay tuned to the StormTrack for more.