Loc: Orlando, FL
Erika Likely to Dissipate over the next Several Days
Tue Sep 01 2009 05:47 PM
11:00 EDT Update 2 September 2009
Erika remains weak at 11, it's still moving relatively slowly toward the west, toward the northern Leeward Islands.
With strong shear approaching, the hurricane center is suggesting that Erika may weaken further and even dissipate. Their track forecast is very uncertain, however. Erika will be one to watch, but it's likely to remain weak.
6:45 EDT Update 2 September 2009
Erika has relocated a bit south and more to the west overnight, still moving quite slowly at 5MPH to the west, this has brought up Tropical Storm Warnings in the prior watch areas, but nothing new yet for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Erika actually got a bit more disorganized overnight, but seems to be holding now at around 50mph. It's still trying to find a good center, and pressures still remain relatively high. It's intensity forecast is more complex than the track forecast, there is not a really solid thought on it.
The forecast track is a very uncertain move to the west and northwest eventually toward east of the Bahamas. Many models have shifted west overnight, but the model spread north to south is much more varied than prior storms this season. Therefore those across the Bahamas and southeast will want to monitor it over the week. Because of the slow forward motion it could take a while.
Right now I would not focus on any one model, all of them are a bit suspect right now past 2 or 3 days.
Tropical storm Erika has formed out of a wave east of the Leeward islands in the Caribbean, formerly known as Invest 94L.
Because of the forward motion, tropical storm watches are now up for St. Maarten, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla.
The forecast track takes it along the norther edge of the islands gradually turning more northward and places it east of the Bahamas by the weekend. Beyond that it is difficult to say, but it is currently most likely to stay offshore, with a possible southeastern US impact being slightly less probable. Florida likely will see no direct impact if it gains strength early. The confidence overall in that is fairly low...
What could change that? If the system remains somewhat sheared, and disjointed (lower to mid level) then it could move further west, if it gains strength and organization the prevailing steering patterns will likely move it more north away from land.
In short the Northeast Caribbean, Turks, Caicos, Bahamas, and the Southeast US (Including Florida) will want to keep checking in on Erika through the week.
Currently, Erika still has some shear to deal with at the mid levels, which will likely keep it from strengthening quickly. The upper levels however, are doing quite well (thus the fanning appearance).
Outside of this, another wave off Africa has <30% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours, and we'll watch that. The upper level feature currently east of the Bahamas is still not likely to develop.
Flhurricane Recording of Martinique Radar/Erika Approach