Tropical Storm 05L (Erika) is approaching the Caribbean Islands…and is located approximately 285 miles east-southeast of Antigua
Tropical cyclone 05L (Erika) is taking aim on the Caribbean Islands, as a tropical storm…and may eventually become category 1 hurricane strength as it approaches Florida
This area is located about 285 miles east-southeast of Antigua…moving westward at 17 mph.
According to the NHC, deep convection associated with Erika has increased during the past 24 hours, but the overall organization of the tropical cyclone has not changed very much.
Reconnaissance aircraft data indicate that the center is located near the northwestern edge of the thunderstorm activity due to moderate northwesterly shear. The aircraft has measured winds of around 40 knots this morning, and the initial intensity is set at that value.
Erika is forecast to pass through an environment of moderate to strong westerly wind shear during the next two to three days. The shear will be caused by an upper-level low that is expected to remain near eastern Cuba through Friday. The upper low is forecast to weaken on Saturday, which should produce a more conducive upper-level wind pattern over the Bahamas.
The NHC intensity forecast calls for little change in strength through 72 hours, which is in line with the latest statistical guidance. After that time, strengthening is indicated due to the expected more favorable upper-level environment.
An alternative forecast scenario, supported by the GFS model, is that Erika weakens to a tropical wave due to the shear and interaction with the Greater Antilles. The amount of strengthening on days 4-5 will be dependent in part on how Erika responds to the the preceding unfavorable shear.
Erika is expected to move westward to west-northwestward during the next several days to the south of a subtropical ridge over the western Atlantic. The track guidance is in good agreement through much of the forecast period.
The new NHC track is essentially an update of the previous advisory…although one should remember to not focus on the exact forecast track, especially at the long range where the average NHC track errors during the past 5 years are about 180 miles at day 4, and 240 miles at day 5.
TS Erika’s expected rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches with maximum amounts near 8 inches, may cause some isolated flash flooding and mudslides over the Caribbean Islands…although will help alleviate severe to extreme drought conditions, that some of the islands have been experiencing.
Maximum surface winds at the NHC advisory #7 was 45 mph winds
WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
The government of France has changed the Tropical Storm Watch to a Tropical Storm Warning for St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for… * Anguilla * Saba and St. Eustatius * St. Maarten * St. Martin * St. Barthelemy * Montserrat * Antigua and Barbuda * St. Kitts and Nevis * Puerto Rico * Vieques * Culebra * U.S. Virgin Islands * British Virgin Islands / A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, generally within 36 hours.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for… * Guadeloupe / A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
Interests in the Dominican Republic should monitor the progress of Erika. A Tropical Storm Watch may be required for a portion of the Dominican Republic later today.
Tropical Cyclone 05L (Erika)
Here’s a satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean
There are no active tropical cyclones
WSI satellite image of the Caribbean Sea
Gulf of Mexico
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