Tropical Storm 05L (Erika) is moving through the Caribbean Islands…and is located approximately 125 miles west of Guadeloupe
Tropical cyclone 05L (Erika) is pushing through the Caribbean Islands, as a tropical storm…and isn’t expected to attain hurricane strength until it brushes by Florida early next week
This tropical storm is located about 125 miles west of Guadeloupe…moving westward at 16 mph.
According to the NHC, Erika is not well organized at this time. Although deep convection increased overnight and early today during the diurnal maximum, with considerable lightning activity, banding features were lacking.
The convection is also not well organized on the Guadeloupe radar imagery. Recent high-resolution visible imagery shows the low-level center becoming exposed, again, to the northwest of the main area of thunderstorms. Data from the aircraft do not indicate any strengthening, and the initial intensity is kept at 45 knots.
The latest aircraft fixes show that the center has apparently reformed farther to the south of previous estimates. With some adjustments to the previous location, the initial motion estimate is kept west at 14 knots.
For the next few days, Erika should move west-northwestward to the south of a mid-level subtropical high pressure ridge. Later in the forecast period, as the tropical cyclone nears the western periphery of the ridge, a turn to the northwest and north-northwest should occur. However there is uncertainty as to how soon and how sharp this turn will take place.
The future track of Erika is also dependent on its intensity, with a weaker system likely to move more to the west and a stronger cyclone more to the east. There is substantial spread in the track models at days 3 to 5, partially due to differences in model-predicted intensity.
The official track forecast has been shifted to the left of the previous one mainly due to the adjustment in the current center position. This is close to the model consensus.
As expected, Erika is being disrupted by an unfavorable atmospheric environment, and this disruption is expected to continue for the next couple of days. No significant strengthening is expected until later in the forecast period. In addition, with the reformation of the center to the south of the previous track, the likelihood of interaction with the land mass of Hispaniola has increased. This has implications for Hispaniola, of course, but also for the track and intensity of Erika after that. In short, potential impacts for the Bahamas and beyond are unusually uncertain.
Heavy rains and strong gusty winds are sweeping through much of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands today. According to the Antigua Met Service, Canefield Airport on Dominica recorded 8.86″ of rain Wednesday night, and heavy flooding has been observed on that island. The Guadaloupe Airport has recorded 1.18″ of rain today, with a peak wind gust of 36 mph.
TS Erika’s expected rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches with maximum amounts near 8 inches, will likley cause some localized 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 #11 was 50 mph winds
WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
The government of the Dominican Republic has extended the Tropical Storm Watch westward along the north coast of the Dominican Republic to the border of Haiti.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Saba and St. Eustatius
* St. Maarten
* St. Martin
* St. Barthelemy
* Antigua and Barbuda
* St. Kitts and Nevis
* Puerto Rico
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* British Virgin Islands
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* North coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the border of Haiti
* Southeastern Bahamas
* Turks and Caicos Islands
Interests in the Dominican Republic should monitor the progress of Erika.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center.
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to continue over portions of the warning area in the Leeward Islands through early this afternoon, and reach the Virgin Islands later today and Puerto Rico tonight. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in the Leeward Islands through early this afternoon. Tropical storm conditions could reach portions of the watch area in the Dominican Republic on Friday and the southeastern Bahamas, and Turks and the Caicos Islands late Friday and Friday night.
RAINFALL: Erika is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with maximum amounts of 12 inches possible across portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeast Bahamas through Saturday. Dominica reported nearly 9 inches of rainfall overnight, with significant flooding occurring on the island.
Here’s a satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean
Tropical Cyclone 05L (Erika)
WSI satellite image of the Caribbean Sea
Gulf of Mexico
Latest satellite image of the Gulf of Mexico