September 2, 2009

Tropical Storm Erika

Tropical Storm Erika is less organized this morning, but the center will pass near the northern Leeward Islands. While gusty squalls will pound the northern Leeward Islands today, it is at least 5 days away from threatening the U.S., if at all. Maximum winds are near 50 mph, with some slow strengthening likely. Current forecast calls for it not to become a hurricane for the next several days as upper level winds shear apart the system.

As of 5 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Erika is located at 17.0 N, 59.0 W or 280 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands and about 1,500 miles southeast of Miami. It is moving west at 5 mph, but is expected to move a bit faster towards the west-northwest during the next several days, which would move the storm just to the north of the northern Leeward Islands. Current tracks keep it north of the Bahamas and the Greater Antilles as high pressure to the north steers the system.

Erika is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches over the northern Leeward Islands, with isolated areas receiving over 6 inches of rainfall. Even so, residents of Florida and the U.S. East Coast should watch this storm`s development over the next several days.

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