As of 7:00 AM EDT/AST
Tropical Storm Erika has sustained Winds of about 45 MPH, with gusts from 50 to 60 MPH. The storm is moving to the west-northwest at 20 mph towards the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and the Bahamas.
Tropical Storm Erika is expected to keep a track trough the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Already due to this threat, Tropical Storm Watches have been issued for parts of the Leeward Islands. After skimming parts of Hispaniola with its southern side, Erika will begin to move towards the Bahamas, but it is after here where things get interesting.
Let’s talk computer models
For a start, the European Computer Model (ECMWF or Euro) suggests that Erika will stall just north of the Bahamas due to a somewhat aggravating high pressure, this would happen likely until the high pressure moves to the east, then Erika would be allowed to trek the East Coast as a potentially monster-like storm. Of course, we still have several days to go until we know exactly the final destination for Erika, which is officially expected to become a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.
Let’s bring in some of our spaghetti models now… Let’s start with some of the intensity computer models. At the moment, the majority of the computer models seem to bring Erika to hurricane strength in about 3-5 days, and continue it on a strengthening path after that. So there is limited disagreement between the current intensity models, but the spaghetti computer track models do have some disagreement on whether Erika will trek into the Gulf, or track up the coast at least to some degree.
Official Alerts: Tropical Storm Watches in effect for the Leeward Islands.
Weather 360 3.A.S.: Level III Alert, be aware that the potential for hazardous weather over the next two weeks may be felt along the US Southeast Coastline due to Tropical Storm Erika.
We here at Weather 360 will continue to keep you updated.