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article imageTropical storm Erika on track to hit Florida as a hurricane

By Karen Graham     Aug 26, 2015 in World
In its latest update, the National Hurricane Center is forecasting that tropical storm Erika is expected to hit southern Florida late Sunday night or Monday morning as a category 1 hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center is reporting that tropical storm Erika, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, is now 245 miles east of Antigua, moving west at 17 mph. Tropical storm warnings have been extended as far west as Puerto Rico, including the Virgin Islands and including most of the northern Leeward Islands.
Erika's center is expected to cross over parts of the Leeward Islands Wednesday night, coming near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Thursday. Erika is predicted to produce from 2 to 4 inches of rain, with a maximum of 8 inches across portions of the leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
National Hurricane Center
By Friday, Erika, the fifth-named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, should reach the Dominican Republic, and as the storm continues on its predicted track, reach Florida as a hurricane by early Monday. Florida's State Emergency Operations Center was partially activated today as officials start monitoring the storm, reports the NY Post.
“We are preparing the protective and responsive measures we will need if the storm continues to develop out of an abundance of caution,” said Director Bryan W. Koon.
Florida's Division of Emergency management issued an email notice to Florida residents and visitors, advising people to stay alert to local conditions, watching the news for further instructions. People have also been advised to check on their emergency disaster supply kits, making sure they are fully stocked, and to have an evacuation plan on hand.
Forecasters warn that Erika may hit the same wind-shear and dry air that caused the breaking up of Hurricane Danny last week. But they also point to Erika's track over land, along with coming up against an upper-level steering flow near the eastern U.S. next week as something that could change Erika's track.
The NHC says that if Erika survives the next few days, then the steering pattern and environment will become more conducive to her strengthening and it then becomes a worrisome problem for the Bahamas and Florida. Folks need to remember we are still 4 to 5 days away in the forecast, and a lot could change in that time.
More about tropical storm erika, southern florida, leeward islands, Puerto rico, category one hurricane
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